This isn't on
Posted on 11 months ago
This isn't on. A decision will keep eluding the partisans so long as they go self-servingly by their own liking or disliking. For the selection drill to come to fruition, the universally-observed principle in this regard needs to be abided by the partisans. And that necessarily entails that no side will have a veto power to exercise in the process while each proposed name will be scrutinised thoroughly critically for merit to occupy the post. The opposing side will raise objections and the proposing side will answer. And if it fails to satisfy the objectors, that name will be dropped. And the process will continue until a name is agreed upon by both sides finally.
From the media reports, it nevertheless appears that a process on this line for the selection of the top election officer has not even been undertaken. The opposition leader seems having summarily rejected the names proposed by the government side. And the government side too appears having likewise disapproved the opposition leader's nominees. This is the reality. That the government has asked the opposition leader "to add more names to broaden the choice" is mere hoax. And the opposition leader may have consulted the opposition parties inside and outside the parliament. But he too has not sat down in a proper parliamentary forum to defend his nominees.
If the selection is to be made through contentious talk in the media, how will it ever come about? Credibility, Chaudhry Nisar must understand, is not an issue with the government alone. It is as much with the opposition as well. There indeed are very many who believe that the opposition is playing politics over the appointment of the chief election commissioner and in its hearts wants its own nominee in the place. They may be wrong. And he must prove them wrong by approaching the whole issue of this key constitutional appointment the way it should be reasonably, rationally and acceptably. Nobody, he must know, holds a veto power in the case.
And nobody, except his party clans and loyalists, is getting swayed either by his posturing of piety he is flaunting so vaingloriously in the media. In fact, the PTI people contend that through a messenger he had informed their party chief of planning to nominate Justice (Retd.) Fakharuddin G. Ebrahim for the post and had not taken him into confidence at all on the other two names. There indeed may be very many who don't approve of his nominees as they do not the government's proposed names. The factor of liking and disliking, after all, is not confined just to the political class. It spreads all across the spectrum of polity, irresolubly.
From this churn, the best has to be skimmed. And that can happen only if the selection is made in a thorough discussion and debate in the prescribed parliamentary forums. The credentials of each nominee need to be juggled up minutely to select the most competent apolitical figure of proven probity, integrity and merit to head the crucial election authority. Nisar has to focus on this, not in making self-serving noises in the media to pick up a brownie point or two.
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