ECP Punjab member takes oath as acting CEC

ISLAMABAD     -        Member of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from Punjab Justice (retd) Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi took oath as acting Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) after former CEC Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan completed his five-year tenure.

Sources in ECP informed The Nation that the commission would not be able to make any decision or hear any case in case the quorum of the commission was not complete.

The sources said in order to make any decision or hear any case the commission must have strength of at least three members and now there were only two members after the retirement of CEC.

The sources said the government and the opposition must have a meaningful consensus on the names proposed by both the sides for the vacant posts in the ECP.

On the other hand while talking to The Nation, PPP senior leader Farhatullah Babar hoped that the deadlock on the issue would be resolved soon.

He said that both the sides were conscious regarding the looming crisis in the ECP; adding that the issue to be resolved before the limit of 10 days given by the court.

He further said that they had proposed the names for the vacant posts from the bureaucracy and other walks of life with a purpose that they considered judges as very respectable but there were people from other walks of life like bureaucracy, civil society and media who were too able to hold these posts, he added.

While answering a question, he said that PPP did not want to take the matter to the courts as it was the responsibility of parliament to resolve the issue through talks.

Meanwhile, sources in the opposition informed The Nation that the government wanted to put the issue of CEC on back burner and have consensus over the names of two members for the ECP.

He revealed that they wanted to make the senior most member of ECP as CEC after the selection of names for the empty seats of members from Sindh and Balochistan.

However, the parliamentary committee on appointment of CEC and ECP members will meet on Tuesday to consider the three names each proposed by the government and the opposition for the positions of CEC and ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan.

For the vacant posts, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif had proposed the names of Nasir Mehmood Khosa, Jalil Abbas Jillani and Ikhlaq Ahmed Tarar for the post of CEC.

He had also proposed the names of Nisar Durrani, retired Justice Abdul Rasul Memon, former registrar of the Sindh High Court, and Aurangzeb Haq as ECP member from Sindh. And for the office of the ECP member from Balochistan, he suggested the names of senior Supreme Court lawyer Shah Mohammad Jatoi, former advocate general Mohammad Rauf Atta and Raheela Durrani.

The Prime Minister had proposed the names of retired Justice Sadiq Bhatti, retired Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi and Abdul Jabbar Qureshi for the post of the ECP member from Sindh.

For the position of the ECP member from Balochistan, the prime minister recommended the names of Dr Faiz Kakar, Mir Naveed Jan Baloch, a businessman and a former caretaker minister in the provincial government, and former district and sessions judge, Quetta, Amanullah Baloch.

The writer is member of staff and can be reached at @8mansoor_ali

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