Oath change deliberate, finds probe

Published: October 14, 2017


LAHORE: The controversy over an amendment to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat declaration for electoral candidates that PML-N leaders tried to paint as a clerical mistake is likely to worsen as the three-member committee, constituted on the orders of PML-N President Nawaz Sharif, has declared the entire episode as a deliberate attempt to alter the clause, The Express Tribune has learnt.

On October 7, Sharif had formed a three-member committee to probe the issue of alteration in the Prophethood Declaration Clause in Electoral Reforms Bill 2017 and ordered a report to be submitted within 24 working hours.

Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath: Govt to rectify ‘mistake’ in Election Bill

Headed by Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, the committee included Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Federal Minister for Climate Change Mushahidullah Khan.

According to Haq, findings of the committee had been forwarded to Sharif in London on Thursday.

Answering a question regarding the reason behind the amendment that stirred up a controversy, he confirmed that it was a deliberate attempt, not an error.

He said the findings of the committee had been shared with the party chief, and it was for him to take any further action. He refused to divulge details of the findings.

Mushahidullah, a member of the committee, also confirmed that the report had been sent to Sharif, but refused to reveal the findings. He said it was up to the PML-N president to take a decision.

Earlier this month, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had suggested the elder Sharif to kick the person responsible for the blunder out of the federal cabinet. Prior to this demand of stern action against the individuals responsible, the federal government tried its best to downplay the entire episode by quickly reversing the amendment and calling it a clerical mistake.

Khatm-e-Nabuwwat declaration restored

It was after Shehbaz’s demand for a stern action that the PML-N chief decided to form a three-member committee.

On Friday, during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order, Shehbaz reiterated his statement that the government firmly believed in the Finality of Prophethood of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

He said the federal government had restored the oath statement of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat to its original form and a committee was also constituted by the PML-N president to conduct immediate investigation.

The statement from Shehbaz on Friday was not just in the backdrop of the amendment controversy, but was also meant to contain the damage done after Law Minister Rana Sanaullah’s controversial statement regarding the Ahmadi community that brought him into the limelight for all the wrong reasons and got his membership of the Lahore High Court Bar Association cancelled.

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