ISLAMABAD: Finally, the government and the opposition have reached a consensus on the name of Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim as the new chief election commissioner (CEC).
Previously, for the last two months, a deadlock persisted between the treasury and opposition in the Parliamentary Committee over the appointment of the CEC.The name of Justice Ebrahim was presented by opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan along with two other nominees for the slot. The Parliamentary Committee met at the Parliament House on Monday with Syed Khursheed Shah in chair and endorsed the name. It is expected that the Parliamentary Committee will now refer the recommendation to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who will send his advice to President Asif Ali Zardari for the appointment of the new CEC.
Prior to this development, both sides seemed determined not to budge from their inflexible stands on the issueThe government had sent three names: Justice (retd) Munir A Sheikh, Justice (retd) Nasim Sikandar and Justice (retd) Ameerul Mulk Mengal; while the opposition had sent the names of Justice (retd) Ebrahim, Justice Shakirullah Jan and Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid.
At Monday’s meeting, the name of Justice (retd) Ebrahim was proposed by Senator Islamuddin Sheikh and seconded by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq followed by all the members of the committee present in the meeting.Endorsing the decision of the committee, all the members individually appreciated the magnanimity of the government in accepting the nominee of the opposition.
Chairman of the Committee, Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah, concluding the meeting and said that the present democratic government was determined to set up an independent election commission, which would ensure fair and free elections in the country. He said that the government was resolved to take the opposition on board on all issues of national importance and the instant decision was a continuation of that resolve.
Later talking to newsmen on the conclusion of the meeting, the Chairman of the committee said that Justice Ebrahim is a well-reputed, experienced and impartial person. “With the appointment of Justice (retd) Ebrahim as chief election commissioner, the dream of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto will be fulfilled for an independent election commission,” he added.
Shah said that with the appointment of an impartial CEC, 90 percent of the Charter of Democracy (CoD) would be implemented.It may be mentioned here that besides the PML-N, the name of Justice Ebrahim was also proposed and supported by MQM. Recently, the ANP had expressed its desire to have the new CEC from Khyber-Paktunkhwa (KP); yet it also endorsed the name of Justice Ebrahim in view of his good reputation.
The meeting was attended by Senators Islamuddin Sheikh, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Raja Zafarul Haq, Haji Muhammad Adeel, MNAs Dr Muhammad Farooq Sattar, Ch Ghais Ahmad Mela and Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch.
APP adds: President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday felicitated the members of the Parliamentary Committee on reaching consensus on the name of Justice (retd) Ebrahim as CEC of Pakistan.
The President, in his message, said that the members of the Committee showed maturity and wisdom at this critical time.The President also felicitated Justice (retd) Ebrahim, saying that his nomination by all the political forces was a measure of his standing.
The President wished good luck to all, a President House statement said.Meanwhile Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has also congratulated the Committee on selection of the new CEC of Pakistan.
Expressing satisfaction over the consensus, the PM said that Justice Ebrahim was a well-known personality with impeccable credibility.He said that consensus on his name as the CEC would ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country, reflective of the aspirations of the people.