Pakistan names new CEC

Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) A Pakistani parliamentary committee Thursday named Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan as the country’s new chief election commissioner (CEC).

Rafiq Rajwana of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) made the announcement at a press conference here, Dawn online reported.

The announcement of Sardar Raza’s name as CEC was made after the parliamentary committee held a meeting earlier in the day to finalise the name before Friday — the deadline set by the Supreme Court to fill the key constitutional office which has been lying vacant for over 16 months.

Awami National Party (ANP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and PML-N agreed on the name of Justice Sardar Raza.

PPP’s Islamuddin Shaikh had proposed the name of Justice Raza for the post and Senator Haji Adeel of the ANP had seconded it.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahryar Afridi did not attend the meeting of the committee.

PTI members have refrained from attending meetings of the parliamentary committee since legislators from the party tendered their resignations at the peak of the Islamabad sit-ins in August.

Justice Sardar Raza Khan, Chief Justice of Federal Shariat Court, retired as a Supreme Court judge in 2011.

The 69-year-old was among the judges of the apex court who had refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) after the imposition of emergency by then military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

The appointment comes as the Supreme Court had warned the government it would withdraw Dec 5 its judge, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who is currently officiating as acting CEC, if the office was not filled by that time.

Earlier, the court had set Oct 28, Nov 13 and Nov 25 as deadlines for CEC’s appointment.

–Indo-Asian News Servcie

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