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ISLAMABAD: An in-camera meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on the Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Members of the Election Commission of Pakistan proved inconclusive on Monday as the panel could not reach consensus on the appointment of two ECP members — one each from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The next meeting of the parliamentary panel would be held on the coming December 8.

The committee met under the chair of Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari, who told the meeting that opposition sought time, till after by-election in National Assembly’s constituency NA-133 Lahore, for consultations over finalising the names of ECP members, Business Recorder has learnt.

The meeting then decided to hold deliberations on the matter after the by-election, scheduled on the coming December 5.

Dr Mazari was quoted by the sources as saying that government wanted to forge consensus on the appointment of the two ECP members and believed in consultations for this purpose.

She urged the opposition to resolve the differences within its own ranks to agree on joint candidates for the slots of two ECP members, it is further learnt.

Appointment of CEC, ECP members: Opposition wants Fawad, Swati out of panel

Sources quoted Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique as saying in the meeting that opposition would nominate the candidates on merit. “The ones who would take decisions on merit and deal with pressure—would be our candidates,” he said.

Planning Minister Asad Umar, Railways Minister Azam Swati, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak (through video link) and treasury Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar from Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) represented the government’s side.

Apart from Khawaja Saad, PML-N’s Rana Sanaullah and Azam Nazeer Tarar (through video link), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf (through video link) and Shahida Akhtar Ali from Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) attended the meeting.

Of the four ECP members—one from each province—ECP Members Justice ® Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi (Punjab) and Justice ® Irshad Qaiser (KP) retired on July 26, this year. Since then, the two slots of ECP members are lying vacant.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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