ISLAMABAD - Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif yesterday recommended three names for the slot of Chief Election Commissioner, as incumbent CEC Justice (r) Sardar Raza is scheduled to retire on December 6.

In a letter, he proposed the names of former bureaucrats Nasir Mahmood Khosa and Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar, and former ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani for the key post.

The copy of the recommended names had also been forwarded to National Assembly secretariat for further procedure, said parliamentary sources.

Nasir Mahmood Khosa is a retired Grade-22 officer and former bureaucrat who served as federal finance secretary as well as chief secretary of Punjab and Balochistan. He is also a brother of incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa.

In 2018, before general elections, Nasir was nominated by the PTI for the position of interim Punjab chief minister; however, he recused himself after the party unceremoniously withdrew his name.

Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar is also a retired Grade-22 officer, who has served on important positions including those of Cabinet secretary and Ministry of Science and Technology secretary.

Jalil Abbas Jilani is a former diplomat, who has also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States during the previous government.

According to the press release from the key opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Shehbaz in his letter noted that the tenure of incumbent CEC would end on December 6 and regretted that the prime minister had not reached out to seek recommendations of the Opposition Leader.

Consultative process, as required by the constitution, should have been initiated by the prime minister much earlier, he stressed.

“In an attempt to avoid possible discontinuity in the functioning of the ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan), which is a constitutional body, I am taking the initiative after a long wait with a hope to hear from you,” he said in the letter.

The recommendations are in line with Article 213 (2) (A) of the Constitution, which says: “The Prime Minister shall in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, forward three names for appointment of the Commissioner to a Parliamentary Committee for hearing and confirmation of any one person.”

According to the letter, “It is my earnest hope that the merit of these persons will be appreciated for urgent consideration in accordance with the law. Should you require any additional information/clarification, this can be made available forthwith,” the letter read.

He pointed out that a deadlock was created due to a lack of consultation for the appointment of ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan and urged Prime Minister Imran to adopt a “consensus-oriented consultation” to appoint the next CEC.

“I would strongly urge that this time we must endeavour to avoid any such impasse by making serious, sincere and genuine effort to evolve a consensus,” the letter said.

 

 

NAMES FOR TWO ECP MEMBERS

Prime Minister Imran sent his recommendations for the ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan to the Speaker Asad Qaiser and the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, in response to their letters dated Nov 5.

For the post of ECP member from Sindh, the premier proposed the names of retired Justice Sadiq Bhatti, retired Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi and Abdul Jabbar Qureshi, according to a copy of his letter.

He recommended Dr Faiz M Kakar, Mir Naveed Jan Baloch and Amanullah Baloch for the office of ECP member from Balochistan.

Opposition Leader, in another letter, also recommended names for the two ECP members [from Sindh and Balochistan] to Speaker and Senate Chairman.

Shehbaz recommended Nisar Durrani, Justice (R) Abdul Rasul Memon and Aurangzeb Haq for the post of ECP member from Sindh. For the position of ECP member from Balochistan, he recommended Shah Mehmood Jatoi, Muhammad Rauf Atta and Rahila Durrani.

Federal Law Minister and MQM-P legislator Faroogh Naseem would brief National Assembly speaker and Senate chairman about the rules and procedure for the appointment of the two ECP members next week, said parliamentary sources.

Earlier, recently made appoints of the ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan became controversial and opposition alleged that the constitutional procedure was not followed by the president while making these appointments. The ECE refused to administer them oath of office for the same reason.