ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, to resolve the pending issue of appointment of two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan wrote a letter to the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Shahbaz Sharif, seeking his suggestions in writing.
In a four-page letter, the PM rejected all objections and allegations hurled by Sharif that the federal government was violating the Constitution by delaying the appointment of the ECP members from Balochistan and Sindh provinces.
“Written consultation is surely preferred. I again stress your good self to participate in the consultative process by giving your views in writing. In case you do not participate in the consultative process, the people of Pakistan and I shall have no other option but to presume that you are evading the legal process, in which further rights shall be reserved,” writes the PM, without further elaboration.
Sharif had earlier maintained that the PM was reluctant to hold a direct consultation with him, and termed it a major factor behind the delay.
However, PM Imran Khan has suggested the names of Amanullah Baloch, ex-district and sessions judge, Quetta; Munir Kakar, a lawyer; and Mir Naveed Jan Baloch, a businessman and a former caretaker minister in the provincial government, for their nomination as a member of the ECP from Balochistan.
He has further proposed the names of Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui, a lawyer, retired Justice Farrukh Zia Sheikh, a former judge of the Sindh High Court (SHC), and Iqbal Mehmood, retired inspector-general Sindh, for their nomination as a member of the ECP from Sindh.
“The entire idea of sending you the letter and the present one is to enter into an effective, meaningful, purposive and consensus-oriented process of consultation, leaving no room of complaint of arbitrariness or unfair play,” the letter states.
The ECP had written a letter to the federal government for the designation of new members till March 13 while the body has been incomplete for six weeks after its members from Sindh and Balochistan retired on Jan 26.
The appointments should have been made within 45 days of their retirements from Sindh and Balochistan according to Article 215 (4) inserted in the Constitution through the 22nd Amendment that reads, “Vacancy in the office of the commissioner or a member shall be filled within 45 days.”
PM Khan and Sharif were required to recommend three names for representation of each province in the ECP.
The Parliamentary Committee would then be able select members from six candidates proposed by them.