ISLAMABAD - The parliamentary panel on appointment of chief election commissioner and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) failed to meet on Monday due to absence of some members of the committee.

The meeting of the committee was postponed due to absence of some members from both the sides. The committee meeting is likely to take place on January 6.

The committee, comprising equal number of members from government and opposition sides, was supposed to finalise the long-awaited appointments of two ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan and the CEC.

Addressing media persons, head of the committee and Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mizari said meeting of the committee was delayed due to absence of some members from both the sides. She said due to heavy fog some of the members could not reach the venue of the meeting.

She elaborated that the panel was required to take a decision with two-third majority. So the meeting was postponed due to absence of some committee members.

She claimed that affairs between government and opposition were heading in a positive direction. She hoped that issues would be resolved soon through mutual understanding.

Meeting likely to take place on Jan 6

Meanwhile, member of the committee from opposition side Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that it was mandate of the parliament to resolve the issue and the same will be settled through consensus.

He said things were heading towards a positive output and the deadlock would end soon.

On the occasion, another member of the committee and senior leader of PML-N Mushahidullah Khan said they had no personal enmity with Babar Yaqoob to be a new CEC but elections in 2018 were rigged when he was ECP secretary. So how could opposition accept his appointment as CEC, he questioned.

A source informed The Nation that consensus on ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan had been reached through mutual understanding and the deadlock on the CEC name was likely to be ended in next meeting. The source elaborated that opposition wanted to appoint Jalil Abbas Jilani as the CEC but the government on the other hand insisted on the name of Babar Yaqoob for the post.

However, the Senate chairman and speaker of the National Assembly are likely to request the IHC to grant the committee some more time to evolve consensus on ECP appointments as both sides have been unsuccessful to finalise nominations within the time period granted by the IHC.

Earlier, the Senate chairman and the National Assembly speaker had requested the Islamabad High Court to grant 10 more days for appointment of the CEC and ECP members.

The decision was taken after another meeting held in the NA speaker’s chamber failed to nominate candidates for the posts.

The prime minister had proposed three names each for ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan in separate letters to Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and NA Speaker Asad Qaiser. From Sindh, the premier had proposed retired judges Sadiq Bhatti, Noorul Haq Qureshi and Abdul Jabbar Qureshi, whereas from Balochistan, Dr Faiz Kakar, Naveed Jan Baloch and Amanullah Baloch were proposed.

Shehbaz Sharif, in a letter to the prime minister, had proposed names of Nisar Durrani, Justice (retd) Abdul Rasul Memon and Aurangzeb Haq from Sindh, and from Balochistan he had suggested names of Supreme Court lawyer Shah Muhammad Jatoi, former advocate general of the province Muhammad Rauf Atta and Rahila Durrani. In another letter to the premier, Shehbaz had also proposed three names for the CEC. The opposition leader had proposed Nasir Mahmood Khosa, Jalil Abbas Jilani and Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar for the coveted post.