PTI silent spectator to Faizabad sit-in

Blames government for violating its trust by altering Khatm-e-Nabuwat declaration


Danish Hussain November 28, 2017
Members of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, an Islamist political party, gather during a sit-in in Rawalpindi, Pakistan November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has kept its distance from the controversy over the Khatm-e-Nabuwat declaration even though it keenly participated in the over two-year long proceedings of the parliamentary committee for finalising the election laws.

The PTI on Monday welcomed the end of the nearly three-week long sit-in by Tehreek-e-Labbaik at Faizabad Interchange following the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid.

The PTI claimed that the government had violated its trust by altering the declaration section in the nomination form despite a commitment to political parties that there would be no major amendment/s to it.

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“None of the political parties that worked on the electoral reforms bill were ever provided copies of the various forms, including the nomination form, which were not part of the main legislative bill discussed in the committee for over two years,” PTI MNA Dr Arif Alvi, who was also a member of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, told The Express Tribune.

He said during the course of proceedings of the parliamentary committee the government had assured that there would be no amendments to the attached forms and if any issue surfaced it would be discussed upon finalisation of the main legislative bill.

“The government violated our trust by silently introducing a major change in the oath and keeping it away from other political parties on purpose,” he explained.

The PTI had not even signed the final draft of the bill passed by parliament, he added.

“No one can claim it was a collective mistake,” he said, adding that only those who signed the final draft of the bill were responsible for it.

In a statement issued by the party’s media wing, PTI Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood said change in the oath section of the nomination form regarding Khatm-e-Nabuwat was introduced in a surreptitious manner without sending any notice to members of the main committee or the sub-committee.

“For the record, this issue was never brought up for discussion in any of the meetings of the two committees. Minutes of the meetings will testify to this,” Mahmood said, adding that the issue of the oath was never introduced in the National Assembly thus it was never discussed.

Over the government’s failure in tackling the sit-in peacefully, Mahmood said the resignation of the federal law minister could have happened much earlier to defuse the crisis.

The prevailing law and order situation could have been avoided had the government taken the resignation from the people responsible for the error in light of the report submitted by PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he said, adding that delay in resignation resulted in great hardships for the people, destruction of public and private properties and regretful loss of precious lives.

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He said a botched operation was launched at Faizabad in which many people lost their lives and hundreds were injured for which Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal made a laughable claim that he “did not know about the operation”.

Demanding of the PML-N government to quit, the information secretary said the prime minister and his cabinet should resign and fresh elections should be held as the nation had suffered long enough.

“This is the only democratic way out of the present crisis faced by the nation,” Mahmood added.

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