Sunday May 22, 2022

Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath issue: Committee says no ulterior motives found in abolishing oath

By our correspondents
November 21, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The probe committee under chairmanship of Raja Zafarul Haq has concluded in its findings that the whole parliamentary committee with complete consensus agreed upon amendments related to declarations by candidates, having no ulterior motives for abolishing oath on finality of Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). According to public records and officials privy to the whole situation, all parties agreed to do away four forms of nomination papers in order to simplify the process unknowingly that it could cause complications on the very sensitive issue for all Muslims.
The record of National Assembly proceedings on August 22, 2017 states that Naeema Kishwar Khan, belonging to the JUI-F, introduced bill heading Declaration by the Candidate declaring that “I believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), the last of the Prophets and that I am not the follower of anyone who claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and that I do not recognise such a claimant to be prophet or a religious reformer, nor do I belong to the Qadiani group or the Lahori group or call myself an Ahmadi.
(Note: This paragraph is for Muslim candidates only and is not applicable to non-Muslim candidates.)
Shafqat Mehmood of the PTI stated on the floor of the National Assembly on August 22, 2017 that the parliamentary committee really took pain to redo four forms so all these four forms should be made part of the law. He said that minster for law would bear him out that they all put out efforts to simplify the forms.
Anusha Rehman, Minister of State, also endorsed that there was no issue related to nomination papers and made it part of law.
On September 22, 2017, during the Senate proceedings, Senator Hafiz Hamdullah of the JUI-F first time raised the issue for exclusion of “on oath” from nomination papers and made effort to

table amendment to this effect. Minister for law made efforts to convince Senator Hamdullah but he failed in doing so. The chairman of Senate put the amendment to the House. The opposition leader in the Senate opposed this amendment on various grounds.
The committee also referred some points related to Article 260 of the Constitution which is related to definition of oath as it included affirmation. During the proceedings of the National Assembly, the JI MNA Tariqullah argued that the solemnly swear has been excluded from forms so they abolished oath for Khatm-e-Nabuwwat from nomination papers.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had introduced amendment in 203 for office-bearer of political parties. However, when Tariqullah raised his point, the whole debate kick-started. Now the Ministry of Law has been arguing that Article 260 clearly defined that oath included solemn affirmation stating, “I, S/o, W/o, D/o, do hereby solemnly affirm that all the entries in this form filled by me are correct and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief, and nothing has been concealed.”
After this affirmation, it was crystal clear that nothing substantial got changed in nomination papers but things got complicated and a debate was started on the issue. However, the minister for law remained unable to respond to these queries arising out of media debate so more confusion spread because of ineffective media strategy.
Finally, the committee has concluded that there was nothing intentionally done to bring change in nomination papers and also advised to focus upon future strategy in order to avoid eruption of such controversies in future.