Islamabad: Pakistan’s former acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas from the minority Hindu community on Thursday emerged as the front-runner for the post of chief election commissioner.
Official sources told a news agency that the name of Bhagwandas — a highly respected member of the country’s judiciary — has been shortlisted by the government and leader of opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah has agreed to it.
The government will now bring in amendments to the laws governing Public Services Commission, which he headed from November 2009 to December 2012.
The sources said as per the laws governing the Public Services Commission, its chief cannot assume an official position once he retires.
“This would be amended to pave way for him to assume the charge of Chief Election Commissioner,” a source said.
Bhagwandas, 71, remained the acting Chief Justice of Supreme Court during the 2007 judicial crisis. He also briefly acted as the CJ when incumbent Iftikhar Chaudhry went on foreign tours in 2005 and 2006.
He was the first Hindu and the second non-Muslim to serve as chief of the highest court in Pakistan. Bhagwandas also worked as the Chairman of Federal Public Service Commission of Pakistan.
Supreme Court Judge Nasirul Mulk has been serving as an acting CEC following the resignation of Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, who relinquished the post after historic election last year.
Under the Pakistani Constitution, only a Muslim can assume the post of President and Prime Minister.