Is Ziaul Haq Haunting Election 2013?

Is Ziaul Haq Haunting Election 2013?

Who doesn’t think that upcoming elections in Pakistan would be of any less importance than is speculated? The recent news related to the candidates of the election is entertaining yet questionable at the same time.


The entertaining part starts when contestants are questioned about their religious knowledge and practice by the returning officers of election Commission under Articles 62 and 63 of No.14 of 1985 of the Constitution of Pakistan.  These articles explain the criterion of qualification or disqualification of the members of Parliament.


Few events shared on media and social media related to candidates were; Owais Tappi of PPP was questioned about the names and timings of the five prayers, Nabil Gabol of MQM tweeted that “Returning officer ka sawal k aap sadiq aur maeen hain? I am getting class for that am I sadiq and ameen according to Articles 62 and 63”. “Sadiq and Ameen””righteous and honest” were the titles given to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by the people of Mecca.


Articles 62 and 63 became the part of the Constitution of Pakistan on Presidential ordinance of No.14 1985 by Gen. Ziaul Haq. Some of the text of these articles are:  62(d) he is a good of character and is not commonly known as one who violates Islamic Injunctions; (e) he has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practices obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins: (f) he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and amen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law.


Former parliamentarian of PMLN Khurram Dastagir played his card by endorsing a tweet on social media which was pointing finger towards Imran Khan’s character. The tweet’s exact words were “How ECP would handle 62/63 while processing Imran Khan’s nomination? Can decision of LA Superior Court against IK be nullified?”. Many politicians have alleged Imran Khan for having illegitimate daughter from a lady who was living in Los Angeles, USA. Khan’s ex-wife has shared her moments with a girl whom she called her step daughter. But how would PMLN justify the character of Hamza Shahbaz’s nomination, who allegedly tortured his second wife Aysha Ahad with the help of Punjab Police?  As we can see above Article 62(d) quoted clearly that a person should not have violated Islamic Injunctions. Does torturing wife with the help of strangers come in the Islam injunctions?


The Articles 62 and 63 if applied; particularly the part related to religion and beliefs; with honest intention will disqualify the whole country from participating in the elections. But what would be the definition of a good character under every school of thought present in Islam? Secondly, who will be the judge of qualifying or disqualifying the contestants from participating in the elections? Has he or she been the most righteous and honest person in his or her life whether personal or professional?


If we are in the process of making a Parliament of “Righteous and Honest people”, then will media be able to question them on any issue? The media which doesn’t follow any Islamic ethics in showing TV dramas, fashion Shows and morning shows will have no justification left to question these parliamentarians.


What kind of judges will we have in Supreme Court to question this Parliament of righteous? Will we have judges who don’t have dual nationality or they have never taken money against any case or have never taken oath under PCO? And what article will judge the corruption of our Armed Forces?


ECP has to understand that Islamic Injunctions should be practiced by not doing corruption and by serving people so the country can survive. In the end, once during the punishment of stoning Prophet Essa (PBUH) asked only those people to throw the stones on the woman; who was alleged with adultery; who have never committed any sin themselves. Not a single person dared to throw the stone at her.

Farheen Rizvi

A masters in International Management from University of Maryland, a social worker and a blogger.

  • Asif-Paki

    Total Non-Sense; no concrete matter; circumstances of Zia era were totally different; 62/63 have total different nature in 80s and now its different. This is just an article for sake of an article

    • truepakistani

      Atleast zia ul huq did not work against Pakistan.he did not make his empire outside Pakistan. If you see those people coming to contest election they look like chursi mawali. They do not know about the basics of islam. How would they do legislation. We need islamic educated, patriotic and caring parliamentarians. Last 60 years we got the freedom from Britain and we became slave again for jagirdar,beaurocrat, religious extremists and USA. We need freedom from illiteracy,poverty and corruption. We need strict law and order society. Current piliticians are just bunch of idiots and corrupt.

  • anjum

    are you trying to make the point that khaien and kazib and fasiq should be allowed to lead the country…..

  • Pramod Kumar

    Dear Farheen Rizvi, may your voice of reason be heard all over Pakistan and may better sense prevail. May the people of Pakistan have a fair, democratic election and a good govt. which brings them prosperity and happiness.

  • Sharjeel Haroon

    Very well described not only agree with you but also highly appriciate you.

  • Muuni Muniba

    To have the basic knowledge of Islam in Pakistan is a lot more easy and cheap to have any other basic knowledge..!!! I’m doing Masters Degree and I’m an ordinary Pakistan..!! If These people don’t have that much basic knowledge about Islam it doesn’t mean that they are not religious but it really means that they are the most illiterate and the biggest scumbag on the Earth..!! This is the first time I guess ECP doing the right thing..!! Those people who criticized on this process are also classify as biggest Thick!!!

  • Aliya Khan

    miss a loyal dictator in this country…only that would lead the nation to the right path…and shame on this cheap media who would always provoke the nation

  • Irfan

    Zia was a hypocrite, liar, cheat and a thief. why is the word of that devil taken as word of God? People supporting Zia clauses in the garb of being Islamic are actually Zia worshipers themselves, not Islamic

  • Gohar

    Farheen, after a long time of having corrupt govts I smell the air of ‘accountability’. Let’s not forget we need to bring the change for good. Let’s get the scrutiny process as strict as possible, this is a matter of fate of the poor people of Pakistan. Fake degree holders and all sorts of corrupt elected people were in majority in the last corrupt parliament from both sides PML-N and PPP and their job was not to serve people but to serve themselves by obeying their master Zardari and they successfully did. No system is perfect so there might be a bit of loophole in the current judiciary but Alhmadulillah I see that they are going in the right direction now. Let’s have upcoming rulers a bit of fear that they are not the rulers but the servers for the people in real terms and they can be questioned like any other citizen of Pakistan.

    Also, the people who are using Imran Khan’s ‘long past’ for the benefit of their own political favor then they should know, personally, Imran is a different man NOW, he never stole any money of Pakistani people like PPP & PML-N leader did in the ‘recent past’, infact he gave a lot to the common people of Pakistan even though he wasn’t in power. And this could be cheapest thing one could do if he/she label the ‘changed’ person based on his ‘long past’.

  • Simple Pakistani

    The moment i read the title, i understood what would be written inside the article. Whoever is objecting on the questions of ROs to the candidates is in the similar category of those failed candidates. Yes Ms. Ferheen Rizvi, if you cannot tell the 5 names of the prayers, you cannot be termed as a righteous Muslim. If you cannot recite Durood-e-Ibrahimi, you have no right to be called a righteous Muslim. Come on, look at those videos again and again, were those questions so difficult to answer? No, If our candidates cannot answer them, they have no right to sit in the parliament of an Islamic republic. Writers like you should think thrice before putting forward such an article.

    • faisal

      Well, if that should be the criteria then muhalley ka maulvi is all we need. (Just )

    • NASAH (USA)

      “Yes Ms. Ferheen Rizvi, if you cannot tell the 5 names of the prayers, you cannot be termed as a righteous Muslim.”

      Now YOU may be a righteous Muslim — but what that has to do with voting in the Pakistani election?

      For voting in an election in Pakistan you CAN be a righteous Pakistani without ever being a Muslim — and vote — EVEN “if you cannot tell 5 names of the prayers”.

      The ONLY criteria you really need is your name – a “Simple Pakistani”. No need to make it complex, Mr. Simple Pakistani. Keep it simple.

      • Simple Pakistani

        Dear NASAH(USA) the bracket USA shows your love with some country other than Pakistan. Why we think that Islamic system is a complex system to adopt and practice? Why we think that this system is imapplicable? I think it is nothing but our lack of knowledge. It is the easiest and the most effective system that can make our country the No.1 in the world. So once we are agreed with this then this is a common sense that only a true muslim can bring and implement and practice this system…Food for thought

  • Anonymous

    General Zia has been on the other side for nearly a quarter of a century and Parliamentarians had the opportunity to remove or smrnd 62/63 in the 18th Constitutional amendmend.

    Dwelling into to long gone past, seems to be the most convenient rationalisation for more recent mistakes. The author should ask how the other General (Musharaff), currently alive and well, will haunt the present and the future in coming days – even more relevant, considering MQM’s support for him!

  • Adnan Younus

    what zia did is past… politicians cud remove it… so all blame on them not zia….

  • M.Saeed

    Farheen, you are prodding and stirring the hornets’ nest!

    Articles 62 & 63 have been made adequately ambiguous by allowing such open-ended prefixes as “good character, adequate knowledge, obligatory duties, major sins, etc. If allowed to prevail in letter and spirit, they would make the task of ECP impossible because, complying with these conditions would open a whole bottom-less Pandora’s Box!

    For making the things simple, I would have suggested a very simple procedure. It is in examining of their bank statements for the period from 2 weeks before 1st of Ramadan and 2 weeks after. If they have circumscribed the Zakat provisions by withdrawing funds from their accounts before the cut-off date and returned after wards, they have simply violated all legal and religious provisions with full knowledge of the deceit perpetrated. Records of such proceedings could be instantly obtained from their banks and the matter could be decided and closed for good.

    • Dr Zafar Iqbal

      Excellent Suggestion

    • Dr Zafar Iqbal

      Good suggestion, though there is no ambiguity in “good character, adequate knowledge, obligatory duties, major sins, etc.”. You can ask meaning of that from any person with good knowledge of Islam, e.g. MA/BA with Islamic studies, religious scholars etc. Problem is that we give least (almost null) preference to Islamic and Islamic knowledge, though final paper/examination will be set from EXAMINER from that syllabus. I think we practically believe (and don’t accept) that probably we dont have to die.

  • Zeeshan Sheikh

    God bless Zia ul Haque. No surprise Islam hater hate him.

    All I know about him is what I heard from his haters. and all negative things of his told by his haters I found them his achievements.

    This country made for Islam, the day you made it secular this country will be no more.

    • faisal

      Don’t worry, your glorious mujaheddin from the mountains are coming to save Pakistan from the secular, liberal haters of Islam. You would feel very comfortable in your grave once they have imposed their version of Islamic state.

      • Farooq Hashmi

        Achha jee !?

    • Najam Zia

      What is wrong with you??????????
      Islam is a global religion, Zia ul Haq was a manipulating murdering dictator, and people like you and Maulvi Sahib above are the very reason for Islam and Pakistan not being able to make strides in the world of today.
      Stop connecting our faith with murderers for the sake of winning an argument.
      Have some sympathy for Islam.

      • Farooq Hashmi

        Mr.Najam Zia, Certainly, Mr.Zeeshan Sheikh has ” Ziaophilia.”

  • Asif Shiraz Merchant

    dont forget that we live in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Obviously if someone fails to answer names of 5 prayers, means he has neven paid attention to prayers. How will he perform his duties to the people like a prayer. If someone fails to recite “Kalima or durud sharif”, means he has never given importance to even learn them, how will he/she be able to provide better education to the people. Better correct yourself first. No comments.

    • Farooq Hashmi

      Maulvi Sahab, What a sage you are! I wonder why hitherto,you have been in occultation! You should have made your appearance in Pakistan far earlier to tell the people that the only efficacious remedy of their problems ______dearness,terrorism, anarchy, smuggling and joblessness,etc______ lies in stoicism and the performance of the five-time prayers every day.Your implicit message is that Pakistanis should live their lives indifferent to pleasure and pain,and must worry about securing their eternal life in Paradise.All is well so long as they offer their prayers five times a day.Wonderful! What a catholicon! I wave my head in ecstasy at your simple panacea for Pakistan’s problems. I take off my hat to you for your catholicon. Bravo! Maulvi Sahab,you are the unmatched sage.

    • faisal

      The elected members of assemblies are not expected to lead prayers in a mosque, that is not in their job description.

  • faisal

    His legacy is haunting more than just the elections.

    • Farooq Hashmi

      Demons always haunt.

  • Farooq Hashmi

    Yesterday morning, when I opened my computer,I was transfixed by the picture of the freakish portentous monster,Zia at the top of your article.What followed then?My whole day at my workplace was jinxed by a lot of unnecessary paper-work. Needless to say that the runaway terrorism in Pakistan is the legacy of dictator Zia’s make-belief Islamisation process.The Zia regime had cobbled the comely Constitution of 1973 with the nebulous,hazy and vague Articles 62 and 63, with the sinister design of keeping the country torn for ever between the religious conservatism and the progressivism. The contagion of sanctimony injected into the Pakistan’s civil society by the sanctimonious Zia,has swept throughout it, and has assumed the form of Pakistan’s national identity. However corrupt a Pakistani_____no matter what walk of life he belongs to ______ may be, his simulated attachment to religion stays present both in his conscious and sub-conscious minds. The Election Commission of Pakistan was expected to be immune to the infection of religiosity but in actuality it’s not. Through asking the candidates,the most irrelevant questions,the weird ,bearded and nerd-looking returning officers have sinned against the sanctity of the electioneering process.They believe that the yardstick of testing the integrity of the candidates is the amount of their knowledge about the religious dictates.The Sphinx of the returning officers ask the candidates to recite Du’aai Qunoot, Qalima-e-Tayyubah,how Namaz-e-Janazah is performed, how many rakaats are in each of the daily five-time prayers, how many wives each one of them has, and a whole lot of other frivolous and asinine questions. It should not stun anyone if a returning officer asks a lady candidate how many husbands she has. Is the scrutiny of the candidates’ papers a sacrosanct or a sport of fools? It looks like that the way the returning officers are handling the matter is the sport of fools?Would that the returning officers realized that the candidates were contesting for the membership of the assemblies,and not for the imamship of the mosques in Pakistan. In today’s complex world,the mundane issues can be solved only with the mundane knowledge, and not with.the hollow spiritualism. In the polity of nations,Pakistan cannot live in a state of isolation, hence its prospective leaders have to be conversant with the world issues. Whether or not they have the religious leanings,is squarely their personal matter.The returning officers would hit the nail right on its head if they asked the candidates questions about the solution of the major issues as the unbridled joblessness of Pakistani youth, corruption,terrorism,lawlessness smuggling and dearness, and questions about the international relations as well.

  • Mobin Ul Haq

    This is just very simple understanding that these so called parliamentarians are far from religion. If they do not have the basic knowledge of Islam, how can we expect their actions to be Islamic. And why in the world are we criticizing ECP for testing the candidates which is happening for the very first time in Pakistan. As far as Gen. Zia is concerned his many actions may be wrong but addition of article 62/63 in COP is one of the good deeds during his rule. Which of course will always be criticized by the handicapped media and these “Parhey Likhey Jahil Candidates”. May Gen. Zia rest in peace.

  • Nida Zafar

    Yet another liberal blaming Ziaulhaq for all the problems of this country..Yet another person writing an article questioning the islamic laws,obligations and injunctions for the sake of popularity…
    Bear in Mind that the “all sacred” constitution is the body which has imposed the article 62,63 condition SPECIFICALLY for the Rulers/Assembly members.The ruler/administrator/CEO should always be the best from amongst the people he is ruling/managing.
    The judges,media,normal Pakistanis are not filing nomination papers indicating they are desirous of ruling the country.
    According to your logic, we shouldn’t punish any thief, murderer, or criminal based on the analogy that there are others out there worst than them who haven’t been caught yet.
    A person who is openly morally corrupt is as bad as a person who is financially corrupt.
    Bear in mind the part of “commonly known” in the article- a normal “shareef aadmi” as per the norms of an Islamic country.
    Whether Zia haunts the election or not he’s surely haunting you liberals for decades….

  • Moin Haqqi

    Why to complain now Democratically elected govt had so much time to remove
    Anything unacceptable to them


    Ziaulhauque — what a bad odorous egg — stank the place for eternity.

  • UKPakistani

    I second that the questions asked by the ECP seems inappropriate but if the assemblies after Zia dint want that article they should have removed it through an amendment as they did with other articles. This bizarre argument of Zia’s amendments is a farce. None of the parliaments after him ever thought of changing it thus leaving it in the constitution. So stop crying on their behalf please !

  • Dr Zafar Iqbal

    Miss Rizvi: I don’t think that this statement is right “The Articles 62 and 63 if applied; particularly the part related to religion and beliefs; with honest intention will disqualify the whole country from participating in the elections” (nobody will say it is right). Do you think everyone in Pakistan is corrupt, sinner, etc. with crimes like murder, adultery, theft, drinking etc. (Persons refraining from big sins like these and fulfilling their obligatory duties are regarded as Ameen, if not involved in any clear and evident crimes of any type; hidden things Allah knows better). This is not the case. Moreover, keep in mind that a repenter from sins is as he/she did not ever did that, as said by Prophet PBAH (Imran may and may not be from this category; time will tell). Please don’t right such columns to defend the crimes and inclusion of corrupts in the team who will make our future. Are you with those corrupts or with us as a nation?

  • adnan bashir

    The most important question here is not what the articles 62 and 63 say. What bothers me is that how a presidential ordinance can amend the consititution which was formed by an elected assembly. The president is an individual who is not elected by the people, and Zia was a tyrant, he became president by force, not by election. He had no power over the constitution. In my opinion, it should be clear and simple. All presidential ordinances are illegal and must be struck down as soon as democracy is back and presidential rule is over.

  • Anonymous

    Rules and regulations and laws are made for the betterment peoples, society, common man of a country. These rules brings destruction to the peoples and society if the implementation authority become corrupt who interpret these rules negatively and for their vicious interest. Please read Article-62 and 63 and Article-2 in the context of Article-8 and tell me how these Articles would be beneficial whereas the present Regulations/Rules and laws implementation authorities including election commission, Judiciary and police are the product of this rotten and corrupt system. Peoples do not respect these institution instead they are afraid of them. For example when a road accident occurs nobody dares to bring the victims to hospital by the fear of police and the long proceeding of the judiciary. They afraid their stuff of life (time period from birth to death) will be killed/reduced and they will be refrained even to earn bread for their children. These institutions are the foundation stone, they plan only to loot the peoples for example they never succeeded to reduce the accelerating target killings, terrorism and other crime but the benefited themselves by the situation and earned billions of rupees by imposing fake rules of double sawari and new rules of motor-cycle number plates etc. Their (police) targets are not to protect the peoples instead earned millions of rupees after a tragic terrorism mishap occurred. In such an environment who will implement the Article-62 and 63 and how?. First need is a drastic reforms in basic institution of foundation stone of government structure is need specially the police and judiciary.

  • Anonymous

    A unexpected simple question in a sudden debate confused even a learned man. The best way for ECP of asking questions is to make some objective papers at the spot by the help of some media personnel separately for a particular occasion in a stipulated short time and then process it openly before the nation using media. Because whole the bureaucracy, civil administration, police and all law enforcement agencies are the product of the prevailing rotten and corrupt system. In the presence of Article-8 these all Articles become void and ineffective because they are not applied on Police and Law enforcement authorities. This may please be read in the context of my previous comments on the subject. . .

  • Farooq Hashmi

    ” u have proved that there r ppl like u………who oppose the ideology of Pakistan, have no utter respect for Islam, and proving that the personality of person can only be judged the way the person talks”…………( the intervening lines are a continuation of the delirious raving )………..” and Mr.Hashmi i bet u use a different Passport or u use 2 passports. I use a green passport ( Lucky you, Mr. Waqarul Haque! ) and i will use this passport until the last breath in me”. Very funny comments! Extremely entertaining! The uncontrolled outflow the incoherent, discordant and funny sentences from your mouth did not arouse a modicum of resentment in me but catered to my amusement a good deal. I am still chuckling.

  • Ahmed

    yes you are right….we often talked about artical 62 and 63 recently.G Zia Haq who was he? How he came in politics?who he lead them and who still following him?
    What type of amendments he made in constitution?
    Every person who konws history can answer this easily.
    After him so many parliments and parties ruled pakistan none of them thought we should change some amendments.although we could change for third term prime ministership and so on…but not for pakistani people.
    our faith is for ourself we should be asked questions for our social service and social activities…and that aspect we always hide…because we never understood Islam properly.We use or modify Islam for our wishes.
    I am sorry to say but truth is our most of parliment members till last parlimet they came to politics not to serve pakistan just to secure their wealth and to collect some more..

    Actually we never used our vote properly ,reason is as a nation we are blind(most of people not all).we are less educated.these parliments never tried for education because they know well one paksitani nation is educated none of them is going to elect these sensless people.Our major problam is education.We cant develop as nation until we educated ourself.
    once we are educated everything will place right.Our constitution problem will be solved and we can differ easily between Islam and governemt systam.then no one will be questioned acording to 62 and 63…

  • S Nasrullah

    The wise Old man of Gotham beset with one-track mind and cannot see an inch beyond his nose is clearly a hopeless case for redemption. The Pakistan Constitution recognizes the Minorities and have allocated specified number of seats for them. The conditionality attached to the preliminary test is for Muslims and Muslims alone. Other contestants (minorities) for the Assemblies are exempt. Also, these conditions do not apply for the Voters.

    Not a single Voter was ever debarred for failing to answer the basic knowledge of Islam. No Voter was ever subject to any test by the ‘Idiot ROs’. Wonder if the shoe is on the other foot!! As for the religious ganja, the West has spiraling malaise for the addiction to narcotics though not exactly religious.

    The beard on the face of the blogger is the Red rag for the Mad Bull.

  • faisal

    I only expect the state to provide health services, education, economic environment, law & order, justice and external security, in return for my taxes. Do these and stay out of my private life.

    I don’t want state sanctioned Islam or any other religion.

    I just don’t understand why the state needs to intrude in private affairs of its citizens such as religion.

    “Pakistan Constitution says ” All Power belongs to ALLAH”.”

    I don’t think Allah requires his powers to be indoctrinated or enshrined on a document called constitution of Pakistan, His majesty and benevolence is there for everyone, even those who do not believe in Him or Islam. The only thing your statement serve is leaving a backdoor for the people craving for power. You just have to whip religious sentiment a bit and you have a monster like Zia at the helm on a false pretense such as Islam is under attack.

    You can slap me with your “constitutional” stipulation all you want, I just see them as anomalies requiring correction, after all the constitution is a man made document created for the people by the people.

  • mujtuba

    Zia-ul-Haq was responsible for upbringing extremism, terrorism and weapons into our society in the name of Jihad.
    he is the most hated leader of this country since 1947. That
    is a FACT. People actually celebrated his death.He ruined everything. He got us into this mess of Taliban. He was the one who acted as a puppet in the hands of USA. Since then, all our leader have been puppets to the US.
    What surprises me is how so many people admire Zia, without knowing he was brought into politics by their enemy America to disrupt nuclear program.
    at the end,Worst chapter in our history, Zia ul Haq. Country needs closure and as a
    starting point we should remove all Zia related legacies from state
    institutions, Text books corrected and children told what a monster Zia
    was. Most importantly, Religion not to be ever abused again for
    political gains, terrorizing opponents or used as a pretext to
    marginalize women and minorities
    On the other hand, Bhutto is still probably the most popular leader
    Pakistan has seen since 1947 (Except Jinnah and Liaquat of course). That,
    too, is a fact.i dont know how long will it take for people to realize that they have lost a gem in shape of shaheed bhutto granted by ALMIGHTY….
    long live PAKISTAN