ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) was informed on Wednesday that the government and the opposition have almost reached an agreement on the appointment of two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The court adjourned the hearing after legal adviser of the National Assembly Abdul Latif Yousafzai said the parliamentary panel on the appointment of chief election commissioner (CEC) and ECP members is about to develop consensus on the nomination of the two members.

On Aug 22 last year, President Dr Arif Alvi appointed Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui and Munir Ahmed Kakar against the two vacant positions in the commission from Sindh and Balochistan, respectively.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz challenged the presidential notification.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that such a matter should not have been brought to the court since it was tantamount to lowering the sanctity of institutions like parliament, adding that the people of Pakistan had given a mandate to the elected representatives to decide such issues.

On Nov 4, the high court suspended the said appointment and referred the matter to parliament.

However, the parliamentary committee could not finalise the candidates for the vacant slots. In the meanwhile, on Dec 5, the post of CEC also fell vacant after the retirement of retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2020