Pak passes new law challenging voter registration for Ahmadis

ANI | Updated: Nov 17, 2017 09:21 IST

Karachi [Pakistan], November 17 (ANI): Pakistan's National Assembly has passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2017 to restore Khatm-i-Nabuwwat laws to their original form.

The amendment states that a separate voters list shall be created for Ahmadis as they will not be included in the list for Muslims.

"The new, amended bill will make the said sections more effective, where a separate voters list shall be created for Ahmadis as they will not be included in the list for Muslims," the Dawn quoted Pakistan Law Minister Zahid Hamid, as saying.

The bill was proposed by Law Minister Zahid Hamid, who assured the house that he and his family "were Muslims and believed in the finality of prophet-hood".

"My family and I are ready to lay our lives for the honour of Prophet Muhammad," Hamid added.

The Sections 7B and 7C of the Conduct of General Elections Order, 2002 were restored to their original form via the bill.

Section 7B states that the status of Ahmadis remains as stated in the Constitution of Pakistan, while section 7C states that if an enrolled voter's belief in the finality of Prophet Muhammad's prophet-hood is contended, they shall have to sign a declaration reaffirming their belief, failing which their "name shall be deleted from the joint electoral rolls and added to a supplementary list of voters in the same electoral area as non-Muslim."

The Khatm-i-Nabuwat declaration has also been restored to the original form in both English and Urdu, he assured.

The Elections Act 2017, which paved the way for Nawaz Sharif to return as Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) president, had become a cause of controversy when it was revealed that a declaration regarding the finality of prophet-hood had been modified somewhere during the process of its passage.

The government had claimed that the modification was the result of a "clerical mistake" and promised to restore the declaration to its original form.

An effort to immediately appease critics had been made last month by passing a bill, which, the government had then claimed, restored the declaration to its original form. (ANI)