ISLAMABAD - Bowing down to the demand of the main opposition party, the ruling coalition Monday agreed on the name of Justice (r) Fakharuddin G Ebrahim for the slot of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).The 12-member parliamentary committee on appointment of CEC reached consensus on Fakharuddin’s name out of six nominees as the head of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).The PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) had nominated Justice (r) Fakharuddin, Justice (r) Nasim Sikander and Justice Shakirullah Jan, who is a sitting SC judge and serving now as acting CEC. The government had recommended Justice (r) Munir A Sheikh, Justice (r) Amirul Mulk Mengal and Justice (r) Zahid Qurban Alvi.The committee chairman, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah confirmed the selection of Justice (r) Fakharuddin Ebrahim to the media, saying that with his appointment over 90 per cent of Charter of Democracy signed between the PPP and PML-N would stand implemented.The committee chairman would now forward his name to the prime minister within 15 days and after PM’s approval the matter would go to president for final notification. Besides the chairman, the Monday’s meeting of the committee was attended by Raja Zafarul Haq and Abdul Qadir Baloch of PML-N, MQM’s Farooq Sattar, JUI-F’s Abdul Ghafoor Hadri and ANP’s Senator Haji Adeel.Born in February 1928 in Dhrol (now in Indian Gujarat), Justice (r) Fakhruddin is an eminent jurist, constitutional expert, senior advocate of Supreme Court. He has served as judge of the Supreme Court and a federal law minister. He also served as attorney general of Pakistan during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s rule and as Sindh governor in Benazir Bhutto’s regime. In March 1981, serving as an ad hoc SC judge, he refused to take fresh oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) promulgated by late General Ziaul Haq.After his selection, Justice (r) Fakhruddin told a private TV channel that he would accept the responsibility if given the opportunity, but said he had not been informed of his selection yet.President Asif Ali Zardari, in a message, felicitated the committee members on developing the consensus which he said was of absolute importance to ensure free and fair elections. Felicitating Justice Fakhruddin, he said his nomination by all the political forces was a measure of his standing.Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf also congratulated the committee members for arriving on consensus. He said Fakhruddin was a well-known personality with impeccable credibility. As CEC he will hopefully ensure free, fair and transparent elections, he added.Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also welcomed the consensus evolved by the parliamentary committee on the name of Justice (r) Fakhruddin. In a press statement issued here on Monday, he said Fakhruddin G Ibrahim is apolitical, honest and extremely respectable person and he is sincere to democracy and loyal to the county.Nisar said that PML-N had finalised the name of Fakhruddin after consulting all the political parties in and outside the parliament including Jamat-e-Islami, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, PPP-S, and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party. He said they would also take all the political parties into confidence on the nomination of caretaker government, adding that uncontroversial personalities would be recommended for the interim set-up to ensure free and fair general elections.Earlier the committee in its meeting only discussed three names proposed by the Leader of Opposition while names forwarded by former PM Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani did not figure up in the meeting at all since the main opposition party had come out with outright rejection of government nominations taking the plea that they would not consider any names proposed by a convict.After rejection by the opposition of all three names proposed by the government, it had withdrawn the name of Justice(r) Zahid Qurban Alvi and tossed the name of Justice(r) Naseem Sikandar but he too failed to get approval of the PML-N, who had got a virtual veto power as the requisite two-thirds majority in the 12-member committee could not be achieved without their support.Later, an MQM member said they considered Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid as suitable candidate for the slot, but in the committee’s meeting on Monday the ANP member opposed him and finally the ruling PPP made all the coalition partners accept Justice (r) Fakharuddin G Ebrahim as the consensus candidate for the slot.Initially the PPP had rejected the candidature of Fakharuddin and some of the senior PPP leaders shared his party’s concern saying that he was too straightforward. Some others said he was too old to handle such a hectic job. Sources in the PPP informed that the matter of reinitiating the process for CEC appointment was also discussed in a PPP core committee meeting but later the idea was dropped when the PML-N came up with the stand that they have played their part and would not consider any fresh names from the government side.These sources further said that, as PPP was not comfortable with acting CEC Justice Shakirullah Jan whom they considered as the Chief Justice’s man; so, they wanted to get him out at the earliest.