KARACHI: A spokesman for the Punjab government on Monday blamed the federation for the change of words in the part pertaining to Khatm-e-Nabuwat (Finality of Prophethood) in the Elections Bill 2017.
Speaking on Geo News programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’, Malik Ahmed Khan said that if the same bill had been adopted by the Punjab Assembly, then the provincial law minister would have been responsible for it, but this was federation’s matter.
Khan said that if Shehbaz Sharif had demanded the removal from the cabinet of those responsible for the change, then he was justified in doing so.
He said the Punjab government had kept the sit-in by a religious group contained for 20-25 days and the allegation against the provincial government of sending protesters to the federal capital was baseless.
“The protesters were informed that the changes made to the affidavit were not intentional and there was no conspiracy behind it,” the spokesman said.
“Participants of the sit-in had said they would return after getting their protest recorded, but they backtracked from their commitment and staged a sit-in [in Islamabad] instead.”
Khan said that, according to statistics available with the provincial government, the number of protesters was not more than 2,000 and that it was believed they would leave the capital by 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal for their religious obligations.
The Punjab government spokesman said the amendment in 7B and 7C was unacceptable to him.
“We too are ready to sacrifice our lives for the sake of the dignity of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). If Shehbaz Sharif demanded his party leader to have the responsible person excluded from the cabinet, then it was not wrong.”
The spokesman maintained that the decision of Zahid Hamid’s resignation as law minister was right, questioning as to how the bill was amended and why there was an absence of due diligence in the case.
He also denied that there were any differences between Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif.
Khan said that whosoever was responsible for the change of words should have stepped down, as was the demand by the protesters.
It is pertinent to note here that Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif held an hour-long meeting with Zahid Hamid on Sunday night. Hours after the meeting, Hamid had stepped down as the federal law minister.