WEB DESK: The Parliamentary Committee on appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and members of the Election Commission on Monday confirmed four names – three former judges and a former bureaucrat – for appointment as members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Former Justice Shakeel Ahmad Baloch from Balochistan, former Justice Mst Irshad Qaiser from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, former Justice Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi from Punjab and former federal secretary Ghaffar Soomro from Sindh were approved out of the total 24 candidates separately forwarded 12 each by the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition in National Assembly to the parliamentary committee.
With inclusion of former Justice Mst Irshad Qaiser from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the ECP would also get a woman as its member. All the confirmed candidates are the common names in the lists forwarded by the Prime Minister and opposition leader, indicating a prior consensus between the two, which the sources claimed that 24 names along with the consensus nominees were forwarded to the parliamentary committee with a view to approving the names from the parliamentary body to avoid future controversies.
Briefing reporters after an in-camera session of the committee, its chairman Pervez Rashid said the four names were confirmed after due discussion and will be forwarded to the Prime Minister, who would shortly notify the names accordingly. He said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) abstained from the process on two names, one from Punjab and the other from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while it supported the remaining nominees from Balochistan and Sindh.
This was also confirmed by Dr Shireen Mazari, who attended the meeting on behalf of PTI member of the committee Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who told reporters after the meeting that the party abstained on the two nominees and also submitted a note of dissent. Pervez Rashid further said that Awami National Party (ANP) abstained from the whole process over the internal differences among the opposition parties but refused to comment further on the issues within the opposition parties. However, he added that ANP abstained from the process because it believed that the opposition leader did not consult the party on the names forwarded to the committee.
According to Pervez Rashid, there was 100 percent representation of all the political parties in the committee meeting, which deliberated upon the 24 names separately forwarded by the Prime Minister and opposition leader in sealed envelopes to the committee.
“The process of confirmation of four names has now been completed and only a formal process is yet to take place, which is the notification to be issued by the PM’s House,” he said, adding the notification will be issued shortly. To a question, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid said the 45-day deadline is going to expire on July 27 and the names of the ECP new members will be notified prior to the completion of the deadline.
On July 22, the Prime Minister and opposition leader separately sent 24 names [12 each] to the committee upon lack of consensus between the two to finalise four names [One each from four provinces] for the appointment of ECP members.
The following recommended list was forwarded to the committee by the Prime Minister: former Justice Ahmed Khan Lashari, former Justice Shakeel Ahmed Baloch and former Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mengal from Balochistan. Sahibzada Saeed Ahmed, Federal Secretary (Retd), former Justice Mst Irshad Qaiser (Retd) and Habibullah Khattak, Federal Secretary (Retd) from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Shaigaam Shareef Malik, Federal Secretary (Retd), former Justice Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi and former Justice Waqar Hassan Mir. The names of former Justice Farrukh Zia Sheikh, Ghaffar Soomro, Federal Secretary (Retd) and Saud Mirza, a retired PSP Officer, were recommended from Sindh. While the leader of the opposition Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah recommended and forwarded the following names;
Former Justice Ijaz Ahmad s/o Ghulam Nabi, retired form Lahore High Court on 31st March, 2014, former Justice Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi and Sikander Ismail Khan from Punjab. The names of Wajid Durrani, a retired BS-22 officer, Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, ex-federal secretary and Javed Iqbal, also a former federal secretary were recommended from Sindh. The names of former Justice Mst Irshad Qaiser, former Justice Mian Fasih-ul-Mulk and Kamran Ali Qureshi, ex-federal secretary were recommended from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Whereas the names of former Justice Shakeel Ahmed, former Justice Amanullah Khan and Agha Nadeem, ex-federal secretary were recommended from Balochistan.
Source: Business Recorder