Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid on Tuesday rejected the objections being raised by the opposition over the Election Act 2017, which paved the way for Nawaz Sharif to be re-elected president of the ruling PML-N.
The minister, while addressing a press conference in the federal capital, said that Article 203 of the Constitution was amended unanimously. The PPP itself had suggested eliminating Article 203, he added.
"It is being said that the Act was passed under a trick," he said before raising several questions over the argument. "Was I a magician? Did we get the bill passed while making the entire floor a fool? Is it possible?" he asked.
The law minister rejected the impression that the column in connection with Khatam-i-Naboot was eliminated. "We can never even think of eliminating the clause," he maintained.
"On November 17, 2014, the clause [in Article 203] was reviewed in a meeting of the committee. Subsequently, the committee unanimously decided to eliminate the clause. All parties, including PPP were participating in the meeting," he said.
The minister further said that the decision to eliminate the clause was taken in 2014 and all parties sided with the decision. The copies of all the proposed amendments were provided to all parties. Later 631 suggestions on electoral reforms were received but no party opposed the idea of eliminating the clause.
On a later stage, 200 suggestions were received but no one demanded to restore Article 203 in its prior form, neither did anyone raise the issue in the Senate, the minister added.
"We won in the open voting and allegations are being made that we are doing this for an individual," he said adding that the PPP started opposing it after realising that Nawaz Sharif would be the beneficiary of this move.