ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Friday finally constituted a 33-member Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms to evaluate the shortcomings in the previous electoral process and make recommendations to hold free, fair and transparent elections.

A 33-member parliamentary committee including 10 senators was formed following motions adopted by the National Assembly on June 19 and by the Senate on June 30, ostensibly to neutralise the slogan of reforms in electoral system by Imran Khan.

The parliamentary committee will comprise Zahid Hamid, members National Assembly (MNAs) Anusha Rehman Khan, Lt-Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Abdul Hakeem Baluch, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Abdul Rahim Mandokhail, Naeema Kishwar Khan, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, Ghaus Bux Khan Mahar, Syed Ghazi Ghulab Jamal, Usman Khan Tarakai, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Ejaz ul Haq, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Syed Naveed Qamar, Shazia Mari, Sahibzada Tariq Ullah, Shafqat Mehmood, Shireen Mehrunnisa Mazari, Dr Arif Alvi, Dr Muhammad Farooq Sattar and senators Ishaq Dar, Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana, Muhammad Talha Mehmood, Hilalur Rehman, Aitzaz Ahsan, Mian Raza Rabbani, Farooq Hamid Naek, Haji Mohammad Adeel, Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri, Mushahid Hussain Syed and Col Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi.

The committee has been finalised after receiving 11 names from different political parties in the upper house of the parliament.

Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, in order to avoid delay in formation of the committee, had written a letter to political parties in the Senate to submit names of their nominees for Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms. This letter was written in connection with Senate chairman’s meeting with Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Leader of the Opposition in NA Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah and others.

The constitutional disagreement on the composition of electoral reforms committee had already caused delay but it was resolved by allocating one-third representation to the upper house in the body.

It was mutually finalised that the total strength of the committee would be 33 out of which 11 members (one-third) of the total strength would be taken from Senate while rest of the 22 members would be taken from the National Assembly.

The National Assembly, on June 19, had unanimously adopted a motion to authorise the speaker to constitute a committee to evaluate the shortcomings in previous elections and make recommendations for electoral reforms to ensure that next polls are held in a free, fair and transparent manner.

The unanimously passed motion, moved by Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, says that a committee be made in pursuance of the prime minister's letter dated June 10 which called upon the speaker to do the same.

The motion also says that the speaker may replace any member of the committee on request of the leader of the parliamentary party concerned.

"House under Rule 244(B) of the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the National Assembly, 2007 authorized the speaker National Assembly in consultation with the chairman Senate and leaders of the parliamentary parties in the house, to constitute the said committee comprising members from all the parliamentary parties in proportion to their representation in the parliament." 

The motion further says that scope of the work of the committee will not only be limited to making recommendations in respect of electoral reforms but it will also require to ensure free, fair and transparent elections, including adoption of the latest technology available for holding elections along with draft legislation including constitutional amendments, if required, for this purpose.

Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq, a day after getting powers from the lower house of the parliament, had decided to set up a 33-member committee for electoral reforms and asked parliamentary leaders to give names for representation.