ISLAMABAD: The amendment in the rules of the parliamentary committee on the selection of members of the Pakistan Election Commission (ECP) was challenged today (Wednesday) in the Supreme Court.
The complainant said the government wants to appoint the commission’s preferred members and the appointment will meet the two-thirds majority procedure of the parliament. He also demanded that the laws be suspended by ordinance.
Earlier, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) gave the federal government 15-day period to nominate ECP members.
During the hearing, the court was told that Monday’s meeting could not be attended by several members of the parliamentary committee due to dense fog.
In the current scenario, the rules established by the previous committee are not acceptable, legal advisor said.
IHC’s chief justice said the court can only expect opposition leaders and Imran Khan’s prime minister (PM) to pick names for the posts together. He stated that only the parliamentary committee could change the rules.
It should be noted here that the government and the opposition forwarded their nominations for the appointment of ECP members to Asad Qaiser, Speaker of the National Assembly, and to Sadiq Sanjarani, Chairman of the Senate, who then sent them to the parliamentary committee for consideration.
PM Office had previously raised objections to the names suggested for the role of Chief Election Commissioner by opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif. The names proposed were Nasir Mehmood Khosa, Jalil Abbas Jilani, and Ahmed Tarar Akhlaq.
Jaleel Abbas Jilani remained former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s chief secretary and served under CM Shehbaz Sharif as Punjab’s chief secretary.
Nasir Mehmood Khosa is considered to be close to the family of Sharif and Akhlaq Tarar has also served as federal secretary.
Shehbaz Sharif argued that this consultation process should have been initiated by PM Imran a long time ago. In order to prevent the ECP from becoming non-functional, I initiate this process, the PML-N leader added.
PML-N president’s letter also included three names for their nominations as ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan. Nisar Durrani, Justice (retd) Abdul Rasul Memon and Aurangzeb Haq had been recommended by the opposition leader from Sindh.
Also proposed from Balochistan were the names of Advocate Supreme Court Shah Muhammad Jatoi, former lawyer general Muhammad Rauf Atta and Rahila Durrani.