ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously amended the Election Act 2017 and restored clauses related to Khatm-e-Nabuwat in nomination papers in the original form. The lawmakers belonging to both treasury and opposition benches demanded investigation to fix the responsibility of controversial changes which were made in the nomination papers. The bill, Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid. The bill sought to revive the Article 7B and 7C of the Conduct of General Elections Order, 2002 and change the wording of the Form A of the Elections Act, 2017. Some of the ministers and members of treasury benches in National Assembly on Thursday staged a walkout following an emotionally-charged speech of Federal Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada over reports of an alleged Intelligence Bureau (IB) memo linking parliamentarians to proscribed organisations. A list of 37 parliamentarians was aired by a private television channel claiming that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to keep watch on the listed legislators, mostly belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The list contained the names of a number of key ministers including Riaz Pirzada, Zahid Hamid, Baleeghur Rehman, Sikandar Bosan and Hafiz Abdul Kareem, as well as National Assembly Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi and a handful of senators. On Thursday, while addressing in the National Assembly Federal Minister Riaz Pirzada got emotional and said: “I have been elected to the House for the fifth time. If the people of my constituency send me here again and again, it is just because of my prestige,” he said. Pirzada further said that he was from a respectable family, and held the honour of his ancestors. “Why have you given me the charge of a ministry if I am in contact with proscribed organizations?” he asked. National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq interrupted his speech and informed him that IB had already distanced itself from the report, calling it fabricated. “I don’t believe in their refusals. I am not a child, I have been in politics for more than 50 years,” Riaz Pirzada said. “The PM House should have immediately ordered an inquiry after receiving the report. If I am a terrorist, why I am a minister?” He demanded that Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal or the finance minister clarify whether the inquiry had been initiated so far or not. He walked out from the National Assembly along with 12 other lawmakers, who later returned to the house on the request of Defence Minister Khuram Dastagir Khan. The Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the IB DG had had also lodged a complaint with PEMRA on the fabricated report. She said the findings of PEMRA on the matter would be brought before the House and made public. Published in Daily Times, October 6th 2017.