The Parliamentary Committee on appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner on Monday unanimously approved Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim for appointment as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Pakistan.

The committee, which met at the Parliament House here in Islamabad with Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah in the chair, after considering the nominations forwarded by the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, unanimously confirmed the name of Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim.

The name of Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim was proposed by Senator Islamuddin Sheikh and seconded by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq. Then his name was endorsed by all the members of the committee present in the meeting, who appreciated the magnanimity of the government for accepting the opposition's nominee.

Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah, concluding the meeting, said that the present democratic government was determined to set up an independent Election Commission, which would ensure fair and free elections in the country. He said that the government also had a firm resolve to take opposition on board on all issues of national importance and the instant decision was continuation of that resolve. 

The meeting was attended by senators Islamuddin Sheikh, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Raja Zafarul Haq and Haji Muhammad Adeel, members of the National Assembly Dr Muhammad Farooq Sattar, Ch Ghais Ahmad Mela and Lt. Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf congratulated the Parliamentary Committee on selection of the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister, expressing satisfaction over the consensus achieved between the government and the opposition over the nominee, said that Fakhuruddin G Ebrahim was a well known personality with impeccable credibility.

He said that the consensus on his name as the CEC would ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country, reflective of the aspirations of the people.

The Prime Minister said fair, free and transparent elections was a genuine recognition of people's right to choose government of their choice.

President Asif Ali Zardari felicitated the members of Parliamentary Committee on consensus over the name of Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Pakistan.

The President, in his message, said that the members of the Committee across the political divide showed maturity and wisdom at this critical time.

He said that the consensus for the Chief Election Commissioner was of absolute importance to ensure free and fair elections in the country.

The President also felicitated Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, saying that his nomination by all the political forces was a measure of his standing.

The President wished good luck to all, a President House statement said.

Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, a noted jurist

Following is the biodata of Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, who was nominated the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Pakistan on Monday by the Parliamentary Committee on Appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner.

Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim is an eminent Pakistani jurist, constitutional expert, senior advocate Supreme Court, former Federal Law Minister, former Attorney General of Pakistan, former judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and former Governor of Sindh. He was born in February 1928 in Dhrol (now in Gujarat), India.

In March 1981, serving as an ad-hoc judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he refused to take a fresh oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) promulgated by General Ziaul Haq along with Justice S. Anwarul Haq, Justice Maulvi Mushtaq Hussain and Justice Dorab Patel. The PCO not only negated the independence of the judiciary but also prolonged martial law by nullifying the effect of a judgment giving General Zia's regime limited recognition.

Ebrahim served as the Governor of Sindh from April 19, 1989 to August 6, 1990. He was preceded by Justice (retd) Qadeeruddin Ahmed and succeeded by Mahmood A. Haroon.

He established the Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) in 1989. The CPLC works in the mega city of Karachi and has immensely helped the common man in getting the First Information Report (FIR) registered if it is refused by police for some reason.

In 1996, Ebrahim served as law minister in the caretaker cabinet of President Farooq Leghari, following the dismissal of the government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Ebrahim heads the law firm of Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim & Company, which was originally established in Bombay (now Mumbai, India). The firm shifted to Karachi in 1951.

Ebrahim has had long-standing ties with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). In 1995, the PCB initiated an inquiry, under the chairmanship of Ebrahim, to look into allegations made by Australian players Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, surrounding the first Test between Pakistan and Australia in Karachi in 1994 and the ODI in Rawalpindi. The Australian cricketers had accused Salim Malik of offering them bribes, which they rejected. The inquiry was frustrated as the Australian players did not travel to Pakistan to give evidence, and thus the inquiry had to rely on their statements together with the cross examination of Salim Malik. In October 1995, Ebrahim concluded the proceedings by saying, "The allegations against Saleem Malik are not worthy of any credence and must be rejected as unfounded".

In December 2006, Ebrahim also served as the chairman of the anti-doping appeals committee constituted by the PCB, which acquitted Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif. Justice Ebrahim was in favour of the acquittal.