ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Tuesday reversed the changes to clause 241 of Elections Act 2017 pertaining to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath.
The IHC has been hearing a petition lodged by Tehreek-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat supporter Allah Wasaya challenging a controversial amendment to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath in the law ─which had been termed a ‘clerical error’ and subsequently rectified.
Wasaya in his petition demanded reversal to all amendments pertaining to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath and urged for strict action to be taken against those involved in the matter.
The deputy attorney general had opposed the move, warning that as elections were just around the corner, and more changes to the act would lead to further chaos.
Wasaya in his petition also asked the government to set up a database of government employees belonging to the Ahmadi faith.
Despite the correction, daily life in the capital has been disrupted by the protesters belonging to religious parties for the past one week. Roughly 2,000 protesters of Tehreek Labbaik Ya RasoolAllah (TLYR) blocked the main roads of the federal capital for the sixth consecutive day on Monday, calling for the resignation of the federal law minister over the hastily-abandoned amendment.
The rally participants also protested against the lack of punishment for those involved in making changes to the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat declaration for electoral candidates, which have already been reversed.
The protestors stated that the change — from “I believe” to “I solemnly swear” — did not alter the law, which carries the death penalty. The government had earlier stated that the change was made inadvertently and quickly reversed it through another amendment. But the rightwing group insisted it was an attempt to water down the hugely sensitive legislation.
Subsequently, Justice Siddiqui realising the sensitivity of the matter, ordered a reversal to the changes to the oath and summoned the report prepared by PML-N committee probing the issue.
The judge also asked the federal government to submit a reply with regards to the request for the database within two weeks.