ISLAMABAD: The Raja Zafarul Haq probe report points towards two ministers’ role in the controversial amendment of the declaration regarding the finality of Prophethood, however, it remains vague and inconclusive it terms of pointing out whether they were responsible for the matter or not, The News reported.
The report suggests that action must be taken against those held responsible.
In the report, Zafarullah states that the three-member committee comprising of Mushahid Ullah, Ahsan Iqbal and himself had been appointed to probe the circumstances leading to the amendment of the declaration pertaining to the finality of Prophethood. He further stated that he had contacted the other two members, but owing to their unavailability at the time, he gathered the original bill; its amended form as well as the verbatim of the proceedings of the Senate to ascertain the changes. The report further stated that there had been various changes that had been proposed by the proceedings of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice of the Senate but none pertained to the solemn affirmation of the candidate regarding his belief and the finality of the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon Him).
The report further points that it was only after the bill had been sent by the Standing Committee to the House that Hafiz Hamdullah, a senator from JUI raised the objections regarding the amendment in the language of the solemn affirmation and he demanded that the original affirmation be restored. Zafarullah stated that during the session he subsequently stood up and supported what Hamdullah demanded.
The report also details that the law minister also stated that he did not object to the amendment that Hamdullah pointed out but he did not accept the amendment at that point in time.
Subsequently, the bill was sent to the National Assembly again as there were changes to the original text of the bill sent to the Senate by the National Assembly, as per the constitutional procedure. By the time the bill was being tabled in the National Assembly, and the members from all the parties felt that they had committed a wrong which must be rectified but due to the ruckus created by the opposition parties regarding Section 203, the bill was passed as amended and then it was sent to the Senate for the final approval following which it became law after being endorsed by the president.
The report then states that the appointed probing members tried consulting the concerned individual who had also prepared the draft at the committee level to investigate how and why the original affidavit had been amended. Following meetings, he conceded to the fact that it was his primary responsibility to made sure that the bill did not contain any controversial points but stated that he could not decide whether the clause contained anything controversial despite his legal acumen, experience and command of language.
Zafarullah further stated that it can be anticipated that the general sentiment prevailing in the people points that the government needs to take action against those responsible for the amendment. The report states that the probe team suggests action be taken against those held responsible.