ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday challenged the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner Gilgit Balistan (GB) in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

PTI MNA Ghulam Sarwar Khan, local leader Akbar Hussain Akbar and Wahdatul Muslimeen leader Raja Nasir Abbas have filed a petition through their counsel Asaf F Vardak under Article 184 (3) of the constitution.

They made Chairman Gilgit Balistan Council through Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, federation of Pakistan, Ministry of Kashmir Affair Gilgit Balistan and newly appointed CEC Gilgit Balistan Justice (Retd) Tahir Ali Shah.

The petitioners requested the apex court to strike down the notification regarding the appointment of CEC GB and direct the respondents to appoint new CEC through the involvement of all the participant parties especially Leader of House and Leader of Opposition in that assembly.

The petitioners objected that the person selected against this important post is most unsuitable as he is committed party worker of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N). They also attached five photographs with their petition to show that newly appointed CEC has closed association with the PML-N. “Such a committed party worker of one of the parties participating in the elections cannot be expected to conduct elections in a free, fair, impartial and transparent manner,” the petitioner further states.

It is also stated that the affection, loyalty, goodwill of the entire population of Gilgit Baltistan rests squarely on the holding of free and fair elections in that area, adding that it would be most damaging internally and externally, nationally and internationally to conduct elections in that area, in any other manner or even for the election to appear to be absolutely, other than free, fair and impartial.

The petition says that in Pakistan, the appointment of CEC is done through the development of consensus between the leader of house and the leader of the opposition. In GB, the Pakistan People’s Party hold majority of seats (21), PML-Q holds the next higher number of seats (3) and PTI could not secure any seat.

It objected that the appointment has been done wholly arbitrarily and unilaterally by the prime minister, whose party holds two seats and the process of consultation that was required to be done has not been undertaken and none of other stakeholders has been taken on board. The petitioners further objected over the oath, taken by CEC GB.