As the Pakistan Peoples Party coalition government and the opposition continue to try and reach a consensus over the appointment of the chief election commissioner, a potential candidate Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid brought forward by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has been rejected, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.
Former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani had sent three candidates for consideration of the position, namely Justice (retd) Munir A Sheikh, Justice (retd) Amirul Mulk Mengal and Justice (retd) Zahid Qurban Alvi. After the refusal of Alvi, the government proposed Justice (retd) Naseem Sikander for the slot of the CEC to the parliamentary committee. Meanwhile, PML-N sent three names, Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, Justice (retd) Nasim Sikander and acting CEC Justice Shakirullah Jan.
Ashraf, during his visit to Lahore, had invited the opposition to join him in deciding the final candidate for the post of the CEC, however, senior party leaders of PPP and PML-N have failed to reach a consensus.
The PML-N’s proposed candidate Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid was also rejected by the PPP, despite the PML-N managing to convince the MQM for his candidacy.
The reasons stated for Zahid’s rejection as a candidate for the post are mainly due to his notoriously strong affiliations with the PML-N. Another reason conveyed to the PML-N was pertaining to the reservation of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Pakistan Bar Council over his alleged involvement in the misappropriation of funds allocated for Zahid’s NGO Free Legal Aid.
PML-N has succeeded to convince MQM to agree upon the nomination of Zahid.
Sources in PPP said that on the recommendations of SCBA and PBC, it had asked the opposition party to develop consensus over the name of Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan. But the proposal met with stout refusal by the PML-N.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2012.
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