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PML-N Shields Anusha Rehman, Sacrifices Zahid Hamid, Ignores IHC Order And Inquiry Report For Six Years

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LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has failed to take any action against its Senator Anusha Rehman, who is one of the main accused in the controversial changes to the Khatam-e-Nabuwat clause in the Election Act 2017. No action was taken against her even after the Islamabad High Court’s judgement by a single-member bench headed by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on March 9, 2018, and the Inquiry Report submitted by Senator Raja Zafar ul Haq over the last six years, The Scoop (TS) has learnt.

Sources privy to this development maintained that she has not only managed to go scot-free but was also made a Senator by the PML-N in the recent Senate elections. In contrast, the political career of her co-accused Zahid Hamid suffered a decisive blow.

The probe report prepared by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq held former federal minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman and ex-federal law minister Zahid Hamid responsible for altering the Election Act, which led to the weeks-long sit-in in Islamabad, famously known as the Faizabad sit-in. This protest led to the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz capitulating to the demands of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and sacking Zahid Hamid.

It is pertinent to mention that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had formed a three-member committee, headed by Haq and comprising Mushahidullah Khan and Ahsan Iqbal, to probe the objectionable changes pertaining to Khatam-e-Nabuwat (finality of Prophethood) in the Election Act 2017.

Zahid Hamid Made Scapegoat

Sources privy to this development told TS that due to pressure from religious parties, all the blame was put on Zahid Hamid, resulting in his dismissal. However, the person actually responsible was Anusha Rehman, the then IT and Telecommunication Minister.

“All the blame was placed on Hamid, whereas the report submitted by the probe team equally blamed Anoushay Rehman for the alterations to the Election Act 2017,” a senior PML-N leader said. He added that this situation effectively ended Zahid Hamid’s political career, as he failed to contest both the 2018 and 2024 elections. His son, Ali Zahid, had to contest elections in his place and managed to win both 2018 and 2024 elections from Sialkot.

Why Was The Raja Zafarul Haq Inquiry Report Never Made Public?

It is pertinent to mention that in his judgement on March 9, 2018, Justice Siddiqui had asked the caretaker government to make the inquiry report public. However, six years have passed, and the report has never been made public.

Sources close to former Premier Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told TS that Raja Zafarul Haq’s inquiry report was not made public to protect Anusha Rehman, a close aide of the Sharif family who enjoys the support of senior party leadership. “She continues to enjoy the perks and privileges, but it has ended Hamid’s political career,” one source said.

Captain (retd) Safdar Speaks Up About Anoushay Rehman

The son-in-law of former Premier Nawaz Sharif, Captain (retd) Safdar, who was in charge of Nawaz Sharif’s campaign in the recent 2024 elections from NA-15, stated in his recent podcast with senior journalist Javed Chaudhry that Sharif’s political opponents used portions of Raja Zafarul Haq’s report and the IHC judgement against Nawaz Sharif in the NA-15 elections. Safdar countered these claims by challenging political opponents to speak to Anusha Rehman in Lahore and have a debate with her.

‘Anusha Rehman Shouldn’t Have Been Made Senator’

When asked why Nawaz Sharif had given her a Senate ticket, Safdar suggested that, in the future, similar to National Assembly and Provincial Assembly elections where a board conducts interviews of candidates, party boards should also be formed for Senate and special seats.

“If the same mechanism had been adopted, I would have advocated for the implementation of the Inquiry report and wouldn’t have allowed her to become a senator on PML-N’s ticket,” Safdar concluded.

 

Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi is an award-winning digital, print, and broadcast investigative journalist who is the co-founder of The Scoop. He also hosts his web shows 'The Scoop' and 'The Hassan Naqvi Show'.

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