–Mazari says Nisar Durrani and Shah Mohammad Jatoi will be appointed as members from Sindh and Balochistan, respectively
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday nominated Sikandar Sultan Raja as the new chief election commissioner (CEC) after the opposition agreed on his name on Monday following a prolonged deadlock over the issue.
Announcing the decision, Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari said that the consensus between the government and opposition is a positive development and both sides should aim to work in this manner in the future. “Parliamentary matters should be decided by the parliament,” she added.
She also said that the parliamentary committee has also reached consensus on the remaining appointments in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and had agreed on the names of Nisar Durrani and Shah Mohammad Jatoi as members from Sindh and Balochistan, respectively.
On Monday, the government and opposition reached consensus on Raja’s appointment as the new CEC after Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif agreed on his name from the three names proposed by Prime Minister Imran Khan a few days ago.
Raja Sultan Sikandar will replace Sardar Raza Khan, who retired as the CEC after completing his term on December 6, 2019. He recently retired as a 22-grade officer after holding the post of chief secretary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). He also served as a secretary in various federal ministries and was once the director of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
Reportedly, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) had also endorsed the name of the former bureaucrat as the CEC while Raja Pervez Ashraf of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had proposed the name of the former Attorney General Irfan Qadir but his name did not get the approval of Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
On January 15, the premier had written a letter to the opposition leader to draw his attention to his previous letter written on December 4, for consultation on appointment of the CEC as required under clause (2-A) of Article 213 of the constitution. “In order to have meaningful and result-oriented consultations and as another attempt to resolve this longstanding issue, I hereby propose the revised panel, comprising of following, for the appointment of the chief election commissioner of Pakistan,” the letter had stated.
The nominees included former federal secretaries Jamil Ahmed, Fazal Abbas Mekan and Sikandar Sultan Raja.