–Shehbaz says prime minister violated Article 213 in his previous letter
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan recommending three names each for the vacant posts of the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from Balochistan and Sindh.
In the letter written in response to the premier’s earlier letter suggesting names for the posts, Shehbaz suggested the names of Shah Mohammad Jatoi, Chief Justice (r) Muhammad Noor Meskenzai and Muhammad Rauf Ata for their nomination as a member of the ECP from Balochistan.
Whereas, he proposed the names of Justice (r) Abdul Rasool Memon, Khalid Javed and Justice (r) Noorul Haq Qureshi for their nomination as a member of the ECP from Sindh, said a statement released by the PML-N’s media wing.
According to the statement, the letter presented strong legal arguments in contrast to “discourteous and unprofessionally prudish language used by the premier”.
As per the letter, Shehbaz said that the letter received on 1st February was sent by the additional secretary of the foreign minister, instead of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi himself.
He pointed out that the letter directly imposed the names of ECP members to be appointed instead of consulting with the leader of the opposition, terming it a violation of Article 213.
“The letter sent from the foreign ministry did not refer to any constitutional articles to justify their action, nor did it include the names proposed by the prime minister. The letter failed to explain the legal framework under which the PM granted this task to the foreign ministry which was irrelevant to the matter in question”, Shehbaz said.
The NA opposition leader went on to say that this goes to show that the PTI government is “oblivious to the constitutional obligation and was grossly unprepared for the serious task”, said the statement.
He stressed that these names could only be forwarded to the relevant committee after consultation with the NA Opp leader.
Shehbaz said that the fact that withdrawal of both of the earlier letters infers that PTI has finally learned to consult the constitution a little, adding the constitution clearly laid it out that the prime minister needed to seek the consultation of the opposition leader for the appointment of the ECP members.
Article 254 of the constitution does not accept any excuse for any delay in the process of appointment of members of the Election Commission, Shehbaz said and questioned as to why has the consultation process not been initiated.
According to the decision of the Supreme Court, the consultative process should be effective, meaningful, purposeful and based on mutual consensus so that there would be no room for complaints, he added.
He pointed out that unilateral assigning of the names and informing the opposition does not amount to consultation and added that the curriculum vitae of those proposed had not yet been shared.
The PML-N chief, however, said that he was pondering over the proposed names [by the PM] while awaiting their credentials from the government.