LAHORE: Both the treasury and opposition benches of the Punjab Assembly demanded the names of those who were involved in amending the clause of Khatam-e-Nabuwat in the Elections Reforms Bill 2017 and demanded exemplary punishment for them.
Jamaat-e-Islami legislator said the amendment would pave the way for Ahmadis, adding any such move would be foiled.
Govt tells NA: No change in oath avowing Khatm-e-Nabuwwat
PMLN legislator Al-Hajj Muhammad Illyas Chinioti also launched a verbal assault on the community, claiming that Ahmadis had not accepted the existence of Pakistan and nor did they attend the funeral prayers of the Quaid-i-Azam. He asked how those who were not loyal to the country and Constitution could be recruited by the military.
He also demanded the inclusion of a column in computerised national identity cards to specify the religion of members from the community. He said those who amended the law were culprits of the country. He demanded that the names of those who were involved be revealed to the public.
Opposition legislator Dr Syed Waseem Akhtar of Jamaat-e-Islami claimed opportunist elements were always looking for an opportunity. He said amending the Election Reforms Bill 2017 was not a small effort and added that the amendment in question would be resisted to the very end.
Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, on the other hand, said such sensitive issues should not be discussed without the necessary information. He added it only created confusion and anarchy in society.
Khatm-e-Nabuwwat: Nawaz orders inquiry into gaffe in nomination form
Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah seconded the stance of legislators. He stressed that it was clearly mentioned in the Constitution that Ahmadis were not Muslims. However, the minister added that the law of the land promised complete protection of religious and civic liberties of all non-Muslim minorities. He added it was the state’s responsibility to protect their lives and properties.
House proceedings started on 11:05am after a one-hour delay from the scheduled 10am. Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal read the questions of the legislators on two occasions as most of them were not present.
At the same time, the irrigation minister and parliamentary secretary were also not present in the House to respond questions related to their sections. Questions relating to the irrigation department were left pending will next week, while only two questions related to Auqaf and religious matters were asked.
Meanwhile, some legislators of the treasury benches appealed for the rights of farmers, saying it was important to save their sugarcane. PML-N legislator Mian Muhammad Islam Aslam, on a point of order, appealed to the speaker to hold with PTI’s Jahangir Tareen who had obtained a stay-order against three mills on the either the personal, Punjab or federal levels in order to save the sugarcane they had produced from 0.7m acres of land. The speaker referred the matter to the commissioner of sugarcane.
The Opposition benches, meanwhile, boycotted the session for two minutes against the conduct of the Punjab police after a legislator of the treasury benches presented his privilege motion. He claimed the Punjab police had mistreated his family. The House was adjourned till 10am on Wednesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2017.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ