ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Friday constituted the much-talked about 33-member Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms to evaluate the shortcomings of the last electoral process and make recommendations to hold free, fair and transparent elections.
The committee has been constituted after the National Assembly adopted a motion for it on June 19 and a similar one by Senate on June 30. Ayaz gave his nod to the committee finally on Friday when Chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokahri forwarded the names of the senators on this committee after receiving the names from the parliamentary groups in the house. Chairman Senate sent eleven names from Senate to represent it in the committee. A slight delay of one days was caused in the formation of this committee when Senate missed the July 24 deadline to send their names on it.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif thought about the constitution of this committee when he wrote a letter to Speaker National Assembly for it, apparently a move believed to counter the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s protest on roads against alleged rigging in May last year’s general election. The constitution of the committee delayed when Senate raised the objections over its low representation and later the issue was resolved when both houses agreed to give one-third of representation to the Senate in the committee.
The committee comprises of Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Zahid Hamid, MNA, Anusha Rehman Khan Advocate, MNA, Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baluch, MNA, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, MNA, Abdul Hakeem Baluch, MNA, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry MNA and Senator Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana. Besides, Abdul Rahim Mandokhail, MNA, Naeema Kishwar Khan, MNA, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, MNA, Mr. Ghaus Bux Khan Mahar, MNA, Syed Ghazi Ghulab Jamal, MNA, Usman Khan Tarakai, MNA, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, MNA, Ejaz ul Haq, MNA, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, MNA, Syed Naveed Qamar, MNA, Shazia Mari, MNA, Sahibzada Tariqullah, MNA, Shafqat Mehmood, MNA, Dr Shireen Mehrunnisa Mazari, MNA, Dr Arif Alvi, MNA, Dr Muhammad Farooq Sattar, MNA, Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood, Senator Hilalur Rehman, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel, Senator Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed and Senator Col Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi.
Parliamentary sources when contacted said that after constitution of the committee, the bigger task would be chairmanship of the committee because ruling party wants its legal wizard Zahid Hamid to lead it, on which opposition parties have some objections because of his past when he was law minister in Shaukat Aziz government. It would be also interesting to see how PTI, which also agreed to be part of this committee would balance his conduct while participating in the committee at a time when it would be on roads especially its planned Azadi March on August 14.
* Nawaz says his vision for region is of a ‘dispute-free South Asia’ ...