General

No minister clearly named in Zafarul Haq committee report on election reforms bill

Media has obtained a copy of the Raja Zafar-ul-Haq report in which two federal ministers have been vaguely mentioned regarding the controversial amendment in election reforms bill while none clearly held responsible.
The report suggests “action must be taken against those responsible”, adding that “people are expecting action against those who changed the affirmation and caused this problem”.
According to the details, no one has been clearly blamed and held responsible for the alleged exclusion of anti-blasphemy clause as opposed to the claims of the opposition parties and religious groups who protested countrywide and accused Law Minister Zahid Hamid of backing the ‘clerical error’.
Draft of The Elections (Amendment) Act 2017 was first presented in Senate. Only JUI-F Senator Maulana Hafiz Hamdullah raised concern on the bill. He had demanded of restoring the old language of the declaration. It is stated that Hamdullah objected on the “change in the language of the solemn affirmation” in Khatm-e-Nabuwwat declaration.
Zafar-ul-Haq says in the report that he too backed the stance of Hafiz Hamdullah and agreed with his demand. His committee received the original draft of the bill and speeches in the Upper House. They also reviewed the amendment in the bill.
It was mentioned that all political parties in the National Assembly only raised concern on Section 203 during the session after its Senate approval. Hafiz Hamdullah thanked the ruling PML-N for restoring the original declaration, the report reads.
The committee to probe the controversial amendment was chaired by Raja Zafar-ul-Haq and contained PML-N Senator Mushahid Ullah and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.