ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday elected chairman of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Election Reforms.
Dar’s election as chairman comes as the 33-member bi-partisan committee held its first meeting today at parliament house. Purpose of the first meeting was to elect the chairman, after which its members would formulate the terms of reference for the smooth functioning of the committee. Syed Naved Qamar proposes the name of Ishaq Dar for chairmanship and Senator Mina Raza Rabbani and Mushahid Hussain Syed seconded the Dar’s name for the slot. In absence of any contestant, Dar elected unanimously chairman of the committee.
After meeting, Ishaq Dar told media persons that in all national importance matters, consultation from all political parties would be taken. A lot of work over election reforms has been done but still there is a need to do more. The use of modern technology in future election should also be take into consideration. The government give the committee three months time and the committee will try to complete the work within stipulated timeframe. Earlier, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had notified the constitution of the bi-partisan committee on July 25 “to evaluate the shortcomings of the previous electoral process and make recommendations to hold free, fair and transparent elections” in future.
Meeting of the committee was attended by Raza Rabbani, Zahid Hamid, Naveed Qamar, Ishaq Dar, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Aftab Sherpao, Rafiq Rajwana, Shazia Marri, Shireen Mazari, Ijazul Haq, Shafqat Mehmood, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Anusha Rehman, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Abdul Hakeem Baloch and Talha Mehmood.
Dar is a key cabinet member of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government and is considered very close to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Other members of the committee have already been chosen from both the upper and lower houses of the Parliament. Wednesday’s meeting comes in the backdrop of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) gearing up for its Aug 14 ‘million’ march in Islamabad in protest of electoral rigging in the 2013 general elections and to press for electoral reforms, sources told Daily Times. The committee includes members from all government and opposition parties have their representation in the Senate and in the National Assembly.
The PTI has already nominated three members – Shafqat Mehmood, Dr Shireen Mazari and Dr. Arif Alvi – for the electoral reforms committee.
Members include Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Senator Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana, Zahid Hamid, Anusha Rehman Khan Advocate, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baluch, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Abdul Hakeem Baluch and Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry nominated by the ruling PML-N.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the major opposition party in the National Assembly nominated Syed Naveed Qamar, Shazia Mari, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and Senator Farooq Hamid Naek.
Senator Col. Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Naeema Kishwar Khan and Dr Muhammad Farooq Sattar represent the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the electoral reforms committee.
Abdul Rahim Mandokhail from PKMAP, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao from Qaumi Watan Party, Ejaz ul Haq from PML-Z, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed from Awami Muslim League, Sahibzada Tariq Ullah from JI, Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel from ANP, Usman Khan Tarakai from Awami Jamhuri Ittehad Pakistan, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi of National Peoples Party, Ghaus Bux Khan Mahar of PML-Functional, Syed Ghazi Ghulab Jamal from Independent members of the National Assembly, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed from PML, Senator Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri of BNP-A, Senator Hilal ur Rehman from FATA , Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood from JUI-F are also part of the committee.
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