ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has not held any single person responsible for making amendment before the paragraph related to Khatam-e-Nabuwwat (SAW) declaration in his verdict.
Justice Shaukat Siddiqui’s judgment has in fact removed all ambiguities making Raja Zafarul Haq report the basis of his judgment. The judge has attached Raja Zafar ul Haq report to his verdict.
The report was prepared on the basis of minutes of all the meetings containing details of decisions made by the parliamentary committee and sub-committee. The Election Act was formed in the light of these decisions.
According to Zafarul Haq report, 93 meetings of sub-committee of Election Committee were held headed by the then Law minister. During the 88th meeting of the sub-committee some amendments were proposed in Form IX which is Nomination Form and contains the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat (SAW) declaration.
The amendments in Nomination Form (Form IX) have been mentioned on pages 176 and 177 of the judgement. Raja Zafar ul Haq says that there was no mention of discussion of Khatam-e-Nabuwwat (SAW) declaration in any of the meetings of the sub-committee or tje Parliamentary committee.
The report reveals that in addition to Nomination Form, (Form IX), several other forms relating to election were also reviewed during these meetings. The details of 89th meeting of the sub-committee, which have been mentioned on page 196 of the IHC judgement show that three members, Anusha Rehman, Shafqat Mehmood and SA Iqbal Qadri were tasked to redraft Forms XXIII, XXVII and XXVIIC.
Form XXIII being Return of Election Expenses, Form XVII being Statement of Accounts in Respect of Political Parties and Form XXVIIC being List of Members of a Political Party.
It is worth mentioning that these three members were entrusted the responsibility to redraft only three forms (XXIII, XXVII and XXVIIC) and were never tasked to redraft the Nomination Form (Form IX) which contains the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat (SAW) declaration.
All the forms (XXIII.XXVII and XXVIIC) have been mentioned on page No 178 of the judgement. Justice Siddiqui’s verdict has removed many ambiguities.
Page 181 makes it abundantly clear that when Hafiz Hamdullah moved an amendment in the Senate on December 22, 2017 for restoring the amendment made before the paragraph related to Khatam-e-Nabuwwat (SAW) to its original form, the opposition parties did not support it.
It is stated on page 162 of the decision that majority of parliamentarians failed to comprehend the sensitivity of the issue which was clearly expressed during the House proceedings on December 22, 2017 and it was difficult to single out any person, party or group.