ISLAMABAD - A 12-member parliamentary committee, formed to deliberate upon the appointment of ECP members, yesterday could not develop consensus to pick ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan.

However, the committee, headed by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, will hold another meeting today to resolve the eight-month-old issue of the appointment of two members from small provinces.

The members from both sides (government and opposition) are optimistic to resolve the issue in today’s meeting.

The committee on Tuesday thoroughly discussed the names referred from both the sides but could not finalise any of them. The name of Naveed Khan Baloch [for Balochistan] was almost finalised in the meeting but later the opposition raised objection on it.

The major opposition parties (PPP-P and PML-N) had no objection on this name for the representation of Balochistan but later the party’s leadership showed reservations.

Sources said the members of opposition factions might request for more time to deliberate on the pending matter. However, the government side is optimistic to resolve it in the today’s meeting.

“We are close to reach consensus. We are optimistic the matter will amicably be resolved tomorrow [Wednesday],” said Shireen Mazari after the meeting.

PPP member Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said both the government and the opposition would again discuss the matter tomorrow (Wednesday). “The decision must be made on merit,” he said while talking to media men.

In other development, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani have clearly cautioned that they would pick two names if the parliamentary party develops consensus on it.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had proposed the names of Justice (retd) Sadiq Bhatti, Justice (retd) Noorul Haq Qureshi, and Abdul Jabbar Qureshi for the vacant post of ECP member from Sindh. He also recommended the names of Dr Faiz Kakar, Naveed Jan Baloch, and Amanullah Baloch for ECP member from Balochistan.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif also suggested the names of Nisar Durrani, Justice (retd) Abdul Rasul Memon, and Aurangzeb Haq for the vacant slot of ECP member from Sindh. He has also proposed the names of Shah Mohammad Jatoi, Mohammad Rauf Atta, and Raheela Durrani for ECP member from Balochistan.

Monitoring Desk adds: PML-N leader Mushahidullah said the government wants to negotiate the matter at eleventh hour. “We are reviewing all the names,” he added.

According to APP, the committee members discussed in detail the names which had been proposed from the federal government and the opposition. The government and opposition members decided to have consensus on name of one each member for ECP.

The government’s proposed name of Naveed Jan Baloch from Balochistan was likely to be finalised while the opposition will finalise one name from them from Sindh.

PPP and PML-N leaders will hold meeting to discuss the final name from opposition parties from Sindh.

Talking to the media persons, Shireen Mazari expressed the optimism that both names will be finalised with consensus as things were moving in the right direction.

She said the opposition had sought time for further consultation. She added the opposition was willing to resolve the matter in an appropriate manner.