The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday suspended clause no 241 of the Election Act 2017 pertaining to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath until next hearing.
An IHC bench led by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was hearing a petition against the controversial amendments in Khatm-e-Nabuwwat clause in the law.
The petitioner in the case has urged the court to reinstate all the clauses and declarations in their original states.
After hearing arguments today, the IHC issued notices to all the parties and suspended the clause no 241 o the Election Act 2017 until the next hearing.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Awami Muslim League (AML) also challenged the Election Act 2017, which paved the way for Nawaz Sharif to become head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after his disqualification in Panama Papers case ruling on July 28. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had also challenged the election bill.
The Election Act 2017 was unanimously passed by the National Assembly with some 40 amendments by the government and the opposition.
The Senate on November 6 had unanimously adopted a bill seeking amendments to the Election Act 2017, with special emphasis on religious minorities. PTI legislator Azam Khan Swati had moved the bill in the upper house.
What is Khatm-e-Nabuwwat matter?
In October, copies of the Elections Act 2017 showing changes to certain parts of the law began circulating on social media.
Through the Election Act, 2017, the words in Form-A “I solemnly swear” had been replaced with “I believe”.
Sections 7B and 7C of the Conduct of General Elections Order, 2002, which relate to the status of Ahmedis, had also been omitted in the Election Act, 2017.
Opposition lawmakers called for a judicial inquiry to fix responsibility for the changes made in the relevant clause in the draft passed by parliament.
Section 7B states that the status of Ahmadis would remain as stated in the Constitution of Pakistan, while Section 7C states that if an enrolled voter’s belief in the finality of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Prophethood is contended, they shall have to sign a declaration stating so, failing which their name shall be deleted from the joint electoral rolls and added to a supplementary list of voters in the same electoral area as non-Muslim.
With adoption of new amendments first by the National Assembly last week and then by the Senate on Tuesday, clauses 7B and 7C of the Conduct of Elections Order, 2002, have also been restored to their previous form.
With the adoption of new amendments first by the National Assembly and then by the Senate recently, clauses 7B and 7C of the Conduct of Elections Order, 2002, have also been restored to their previous form.
Despite the correction, daily life in the capital over the past week was disrupted by protesters belonging to religious parties.
Protesters from Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasoolullah (TYL) blocked the main highway into Islamabad for the sixth day running Monday (November 13), virtually locking down the capital and causing commuter fury as authorities hesitated to act.