The National Assembly has unanimously passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2017 aimed at restoring the word ‘Oath’ instead of ‘Declaration’ in the nomination paper about Khatm-e-Nabuwwat – the finality of the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) – as mentioned in the recently passed Election Bill 2017.
Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid moved the bill in the lower house of parliament which appeared as supplementary agenda and was passed by the house unanimously.
He said this bill was result of hard work of three years by all the parliamentary parties in the house. The report of Parliamentary Committee was presented in the house but no one raised the issue.
The minister said that there has been consensus among all political parties to replace word `declaration’ with `oath’ in the Elections Bill 2017.
Following the unanimous views of all of us, he said the amendments have been proposed including the restoration of the clauses 7-B and 7-C about status of Ahmedis as mentioned in the Chief Executive Order of Conduct of General Elections 2002.
“We cannot think to bring any amendment in clause regarding Prophethood and strongly believe in finality of Prophethood [Khatm-e-Nabuwwat].”
The amendment suggests for replacing the word `Declaration’ with `oath’ on the nomination papers read as: “I believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), the last of the Prophets and that I am not follower of anyone who claims to be a Prophet in any sense of the world or of any description whatsoever after Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and I do not recognise such a claimant to the Prophet or a religions reformer nor do I belong to the Qadiani group or the Lahori group or call myself an Ahmadi.”
The amendment came after Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Sahibzada Tariqullah pointed out on Monday that in ‘declarations by the candidate’, the candidate had earlier to pronounce that he/she must declare ‘on oath’ that he/she believed in Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. However, the word ‘on oath’ had now been omitted from the new text, he said.
“There is a huge difference between ‘just declaring’ and ‘declaring on oath’ that one believes in Khatm-e-Nabuwwat,” JI leader said, adding, “This should be rectified whether it was a clerical mistake or an intentional change.”
On Tuesday 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.