Islamabad HC suspends appointment of EC members

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Islamabad, Nov 4 (IANS) The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday suspended the presidential notification of the appointment of two election commission members till December 5.

The hearing was presided over by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah on a petition filed by lawyer Jahangir Khan Jadoon, the Express Tribune reported.

In August, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MOPA) had notified the appointment of Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui and Munir Ahmed Kakar as Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) members from Sindh and Balochistan respectively after President Arif Alvi’s approval.

The appointments came seven months after Abdul Ghaffar Soomro and Justice (retd) Shakeel Baloch, the ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan, retired in January this year.

“Parliament’s prestige is important for the court. We have confidence in National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser and the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani,” said Justice Minallah.

He reiterated that the elected representatives of the Parliament should make such a decision themselves.

Jadoon pleaded that three meetings had been held but the issue has not been resolved due to ongoing political unrest in the country. “Four more weeks would be required,” he added.

Citing the reference to the ‘Azadi March’, Justice Minallah responded that, “The matter you are referring to should be resolved in the Parliament. ECP is almost inactive and the chief election commissioner is about to retire. The issue should be resolved as soon as possible.”

On August 27, Jadoon challenged the appointment of the ECP’s Sindh and Balochistan members in the IHC and requested it to stop implementation of the notification issued by MOPA.

–IANS

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