ISLAMABAD: Former law minister Zahid Hamid, in his resignation letter addressed to the President of Pakistan, said that the Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) members accepted that he was not an Ahmedi and were only questioning his role in regard to the change in the wording of the declaration/oath relating to Khatam-e-Nabuwwat, but demanded his resignation nonetheless.
The government on Monday finally caved into the demands of the protesting clerics at the Faizabad Interchange– the chief demand being the resignation of the law minister, Zahid Hamid. The agreement signed between protesters and government credited the army chief and his representative team for their “special efforts” to end the Faizabad sit-in.
His letter of resignation was accepted by the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday and later by President Mamnoon Hussain on the advice of the prime minister under Section 3 of the Article 92 of the Constitution.
In his letter, Hamid Zahid wrote, “I have been greatly distressed over the last few weeks, after the passage of the Elections Act 2017, at the baseless and completely unjustified allegations questioning my faith as a Muslim in the absolute and unqualified finality of the prophethood of Hazrat Mohammed (PBUH), the last of the prophets, and my alleged role in the change in the declaration/oath relating to Khatm-e-Nabuwat, which has since been restored to its original wording. These false an baseless allegations, which are absolutely contrary to the facts, have caused me unimaginable pain and anguish.”
He went on to say, “I have repeatedly controverted these allegations in Parliament, through media conferences and social media.”
The former law minister also gave a short background of his religious beliefs in the letter saying that he is a Sunni Muslim and that he and his family have served the area of Pasrur, Sialkot for generations. “I have been blessed to have performed Hajj twice and Umra numerous times.”
He also mentioned the video that he had released earlier of his recital of the “oath prescribed by law regarding Khatam-e-Nabuwwat, along with a reiteration of my unbounded love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH).”
Law minister Zahid Hamid explaining everything …. pic.twitter.com/h8GoLhhggY
— Munizae Jahangir (@MunizaeJahangir) November 26, 2017
“My family and I are willing to lay our lives for the Khatam-e-Nabuwat cause,” he further claimed.
He then went on to summarise relevant facts related to the procedure of preparation and enactment of the Elections Bill, 2017, claiming that in light of the summary, there was no justification for the demand for his resignation, and that he, in fact, played a major role in the restoration of the original wording of the declaration.
He ended the resignation letter by saying that it was an honour for him to have served the country as the federal minister.
This is the third time that Zahid Hamid has lost the law ministry in a career that has been through many ups and downs. He served as the law minister in Gen Pervez Musharraf’s cabinet but became the minister for privatisation just before the imposition of emergency. He won the general elections on a PML-Q ticket between 2002 and 2007 and served as one of the key ministers. He served as the law minister until 2007. In 2008, Hamid joined the PML-N. In 2013, he was appointed as Law Minister but later he was reassigned to Science ministry.
The decision for his resignation had been taken in the wake of the continuing protests countrywide, following Saturday’s failed crackdown by the police and paramilitary personnel on the Islamabad sit-in.
Daily life in the capital was paralysed for at least three weeks due to the protest of an alliance of religious parties, including the Tehreek-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, TLYR and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST), calling for the sacking of Law Minister Zahid Hamid and strict action against those behind the amendment to the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat clause ─ which had earlier been deemed a “clerical error” and subsequently rectified.
The agitators believed that during the passage of Elections Act 2017, the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath was deliberately modified as part of a larger conspiracy.