ISLAMABAD, Jan 14: President Pervez Musharraf on Monday appointed Justice (retd) Irshad Hasan Khan Chief Election Commissioner, prompting negative response from PML (N), which termed it a “great blow” to the holding of fair and transparent elections.
An official announcement said that President Pervez Musharraf had appointed former chief justice Irshad Hasan Khan the Chief Election Commissioner for a term of three years.
A Supreme Court official told Dawn that Chief Justice Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri would administer the oath to the CEC on Tuesday.
Justice (retd) Irshad Hasan Khan, who retired from the apex court on Jan 6, was the head of the 12-member bench which had validated the military takeover by invoking the doctrine of necessity.
The Supreme Court, in a previous judgment, had itself declared the doctrine of necessity as dead.
However, the Supreme Court bench had given a roadmap to revival of civilian rule by asking the government to hold elections before Oct 12, 2002.
The Pakistan Muslim League (N) immediately reacted to Irshad Hasan Khan’s appointment as Chief Election Commissioner and said it was the first blow to holding of fair and transparent elections.
PML (N) Central Information Secretary, Siddiqul Farooq, said that Justice (retd) Irshad was not given full court reference due to his “controversial role” as chief justice of Pakistan.