Ahmadis’ status remains unchanged
ISLAMABAD: President General Pervez Musharraf promulgated a law on Wednesday to maintain the non-Muslim status of Ahmadis, declared so in the 1973 Constitution, in the forms prescribed for preparation of electoral rolls, as aggressively demanded by the religious lobby.
The Ahmadis’ status as provided in the Constitution in which they were declared non-Muslims would remain unchanged in the new electoral rolls, according to the new law. It is titled as the Conduct of General Elections Order (Second Amendment) Order, 2002.
After the religious parties unanimously announced that they would launch protest for non-inclusion of religion's column in the forms for the electoral rolls, the government accepted their demand a couple of weeks ago to avoid any unnecessary controversy.
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Electoral Rolls 1974, the Electoral Rolls Rules 1974, or any other law for the time being in force, including the forms prescribed for preparation of electoral rolls on joint electorate basis in pursuance of the Conduct of General Elections Order 2002, the status of Qadiani Group or the Lahori Group (who call themselves 'Ahmadis' or by any other name) or a person, who does not believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), the last of the prophets, or claimed or claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) or recognizes such a claimant as a prophet or a religious reformer shall remain the same as provided in the 1973 Constitution, the amendment said.
If a person has got himself enrolled as voter and objection is filed before the revising authority notified under the Electoral Rolls Act 1974 within ten days from issuance of the Conduct of General Elections (Second Amendment) Order 2002, that such a voter is not a Muslim, the revising authority shall issue a notice to him to appear before it within 15 days and require to sign a declaration regarding his belief about the absolute and unqualified finality of the prophethood of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in Form-IV prescribed under the Electoral Rolls Rules 1974.
According to the amendment, in case he refuses to sign this declaration, he shall be deemed to be a non-Muslim and his name shall be deleted from the joint electoral rolls and added to a supplementary list of voters in the same electoral area as non-Muslim. In case, the voter does not turn up in spite of service of notice, an ex parte order may be passed against him.