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Imran Khan invited Shehbaz Sharif for consultation on ECP members

03 April, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif for consultation on the appointment of two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), seeking his response in writing.

In a four-page letter written to Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister rejected objections and allegations hurled by the former that the government was violating constitution by delaying the finalisation of the names of the ECP members from Balochistan and Sindh.

“Written consultation is surely preferred,” writes PM Khan in the letter. “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 event further rights shall be reserved,” writes the premier, without further elaboration.

Earlier, the PML-N president, in his letter to PM Khan, had opposed the premier’s way of consultation over the appointment of ECP members through nominees and accused his government of violating constitution by impeding the process. Shehbaz had also highlighted the apparent reluctance of the prime minister to hold a direct consultation with him as a major factor behind the delay.

The prime minister 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.

The prime minister has 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.

Khan has claimed in the letter that “there is nothing in Article 213(2-A) of the Constitution to suggest as to from which of the two persons specified in the said sub-article, the consultation process has to be imitated”, stating that “you took no steps to initiate any process of consultations”.

Referring to Shehbaz’s reservation about change in nominations, the prime minister clarified that “the ethos of any consultative process necessarily implies that names of candidates could be altered during consultation”.

“There is no embargo on the person, who is to be consulted, to substitute the names forwarded by him previously with fresh names that he may subsequently consider to be more appropriate,” the letter read.

“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,” PM Khan said in the letter.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday barred senior party leaders Jahangir Tareen and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi from issuing statements against each other.

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