- Info minister dismisses report of Zahid Hamid and Anusha Rehman’s resignations
With the government appearing bereft of solutions in the face of countrywide protests by religious zealots over the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat clause fiasco, Zahid Hamid Sunday evening decided to give in to their demand by resigning as the country’s law minister.
Per reports, Zahid Hamid has tendered his resignation and is waiting for its approval by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Hamid apparently made up his mind about his resignation during a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif earlier in the day where he said he was ready to resign for the sake of bringing the ongoing crisis to an end that flared up after a botched operation against protesters at Faizabad Interchange Saturday morning.
The report about Hamid as well as Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman’s resignations was however dismissed by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb. In a statement issued here, Marriyum said that the operation had been carried out on the instructions of the courts, but the orders said that the operation should be unarmed while the protesters were armed so the government had to stop the operation.
She said the government would inform the court about its view on Monday (today). She said the government wanted to resolve the issue with talks as the situation was extremely critical and the issue quite sensitive. She added that linking certain names with the issue was irresponsible.
The state minister said the government wanted to end the sit-in and provide relief to the people of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Earlier in the day, media reports said that the law minister had decided during his meeting with the chief minister that he would be tendering his resignation to the prime minister within the next 24 hours.
The meeting is being seen as a significant one since the Punjab CM is believed to be playing an active role in bringing the ongoing situation under control.
Earlier in the day, Law Minister Zahid Hamid released a video message on social media to assure the people that he believes in the finality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), a day after his family house was attacked in Punjab.
In the video, the law minister read out the oath that election candidates must take under the constitution.
After reading the oath, the minister said: “This is the oath that is part of the law. And you all know that Constitution of Pakistan declares Qadianis, Ahmadi Group and Lahori Group as non-Muslims.”
“I further want to say I love Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) from the depth of my heart. I am an Ashiq-e-Rasool and my family and I are prepared to lay down our lives for the honour and sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”
Earlier Geo News reported that two federal ministers were likely to step down in the next 24 hours.
On Saturday, the authorities finally launched an operation to retrieve Faizabad intersection from Tehreek-e-Labbaik protesters after weeks of negotiations and nudging by the courts, but the police action only multiplied the government’s problems amid a worsening law and order situation in Islamabad and other cities.
Incensed by the government crackdown on the Faizabad sit-in, several men affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik attacked the residence of law minister in his hometown of Pasrur, Sialkot district.
The protesters, led by cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, said they would continue the sit-in until Hamid – who they blame for the recent controversy surrounding changes in the Khatm-e-Nabuwat clause in the oath of office – is removed from his post.