National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has said the government will revert back to the original Khatm-e-Nabuwwat clause that had mistakenly been omitted in the recently passed electoral forms law.
“We will amend Election Act 2017 and replace the clauses related to nomination papers in the original form,” the speaker told reporters in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Lawmakers pointed out that, earlier, during declarations being made by the candidate, s/he had to take an ‘oath’ stating they believed in Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. However, the word ‘oath’ had now been omitted from the new text, they claimed.
On Tuesday, the lawmakers on treasury benches vowed to rectify this error at the earliest. The deputy speaker, who was chairing the sitting, said all people were on the same page on the issue.
Defending the Act, which immediately became a law after President Mamnoon Hussain signed it on October 2, Minister for Law Zahid Hamid said the law was not passed in isolation. He also rejected the impression that the bill had been passed to benefit a specific person, ie, the deposed premier Nawaz Sharif.
Giving background of the provision, he said it was part of the Political Parties Act that a disqualified person cannot be office bearer of a political party. He said this provision was repealed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1975 but former military ruler Pervaiz Musharraf introduced it again in 2000 to persecute Nawaz and Benazir Bhutto.
Its approval removed the hurdle in the way of the three-time premier to be reelected as head of PML-N.
The bill allows a convicted person to lead a political party — a move that many political analysts say will give a new life to Nawaz’s career as a politician.