ISLAMABAD -  Contrary to the assertion of State Minister for Interior Tala Chaudhry that the inquiry committee formed to fix responsibility for the controversial amendment to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat (PBUH) declaration has yet to finalize its report, senior PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq on Friday said that the report had been submitted to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

In an informal talk with reporters after the adjournment of the Senate session, Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq, who was the head of the three-member probe committee, said that it was up to the party leader and the former prime minister Sharif either to make the report public or not.

Raja Haq refused to disclose whether or not the responsibility had been fixed in the report. In the first week of October, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief and former PM Sharif constituted the three-member committee to fix responsibility for the controversial amendment to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat (PBUH) declaration for electoral candidates. Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Minister for Climate Change Mushahidullah Khan were also members of the committee.

Responding to a question, he said that the protesters of Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) and Sunni Tehreek were not ready to talk with government negotiators until the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid. He said in a lighter mood that he was ready to share the details of the report with the leaders of the protesting parties but they were not ready to withdraw from their stance about the law minister.

The Leader of the House also said that that the parliamentary on electoral reforms had 34 members and a sub-committee under it also had nine members while both the committees had a representation of all parliamentary parties. He said that the Electoral Reforms Bill containing this controversial amendment was cleared by both these committees and no one objected to it.

The change in the language of the candidates’ declaration form in the Elections Act 2017 has enraged religious parties which forced Sharif to form the committee to probe the matter. The controversial amendment was also reversed through fresh legislation. Meanwhile, the government has started using backdoor channels to persuade the protesters to end their sit-in but all in vain. Official sources within the interior ministry said that Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has dispatched State Minister for Religious Affairs to meet with the two separate custodians of Golra Sharif shrine of Islamabad to play their role as mediators but the leaders of the protesters have refused to vacate the place.

Islamabad Chief Commissioner Zulfiqar Haider in its briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Interior said that the participants of the sit-in did not belong to the banned organizations but were of the Barelvi school of thought of Islam. He also blamed the Punjab government for giving a safe passage to the protesters to enter Islamabad and added that they had intelligence reports that some of the participants were armed. He said that the custodians of the two shrines, Peer Naqibur Rehman of Eid Gah Sharif and Peer of Golra Sharif had sympathies for the protesters besides many other shrines across the country. Chairman Committee Senator Rehman Malik questioned the Islamabad administration that why preliminary measures were not taken to stop the protesters before reaching Islamabad despite intelligence information and why no role was played by the Punjab government. 

Senators Saleh Shah and Tahir Hussain Mashhadi argued that the abusive language used by the leaders of the protestors was not acceptable at all. Mashhadi came down hard on the government what he said that no writ of the state was visible in Islamabad for the past some days and called the sit-in and blockade of roads a total failure of the government. The committee also passed a resolution saying that it was a matter of public record that India has allocated an amount of half-billion dollars to destabilize Balochistan and China Pakistan Economic Corridor by funding RAW activities inside Balochistan in pursuance of the anti-Pakistan policy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The resolution strongly condemned the India interference in Balochistan and demanded the government to take up the issue with the United Nations to expose the real face of India to the world.