Islamic provisions in the election of members of Parliament so that only upright, honest and practicing Muslims could make it to the National Assembly and the Senate, the PPP and PTI demand total deletion of these provisions whereas the sub-committee has suggested a proposal that would practically make these provisions redundant.
Interestingly, the Reforms Committee was primarily constituted to reform the election process in order to ensure free, fair and transparent polls. However, in the garb of electoral reforms the sub-committee has opted to target the Islamic provisions of the Constitution.
These provisions of Article 62 ensure that only men of good character, not commonly known as who violate Islamic Injunctions, or those who have not adequate knowledge of Islamic teaching or those who don’t practice obligatory duties prescribed by Islam or don’t abstain from major sins, are not qualified to become member of Parliament (National Assembly and Senate) or provincial assemblies.
Knowing well that any mechanism for the implementation of these provisions would disqualify most of the present MPs, the sub-committee recommends that these provisions would only be applicable on the basis of a court verdict. It means a person, who does not offer regular prayers and yet is a member of parliament could not be disqualified unless it is ruled by a court of law. In the 18th Amendment such a linking of court’s decision was made only with regard to 62(1)(f) which provides for disqualification of a person who is not sagacious, righteous, non-profligate, honest and amen. Now, according to the sub-committee’s proposal, all Islamic provisions included in Article 62 should be linked with the court verdict.
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