ISLAMABAD   -   The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued notices to the sec­retary to president, principle sec­retary to prime minister and Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and other respondents in a petition challenging the appointment of two new members of ECP.

A single bench comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minal­lah conducted hearing of the peti­tion and directed the respondents to submit their reply in this matter and deferred the hearing till Oc­tober 11. The IHC bench also di­rected the senior advocates Hamid Khan, Khalid Anwar and Makhdom Ali Khan to support the court with their legal opinion. Earlier, Presi­dent Arif Alvi had appointed two members to ECP to fill vacant posts after seven months.

However, the electoral body did not administer oaths to them, claiming that their appointments were unconstitutional. The opposi­tion had criticised the step taken by the President too. Since then, a deadlock has been continuing be­tween the government and the op­position over the matter.

A PML-N leader Murtaza Javed Abbssi filed the petition in the court through his counsels Jehangir Jadoon and Barrister Mohsin Ran­jha challenging their appointment. He contended before the court that the appointment was a direct viola­tion of the Constitution, adding that the notification issued on August 22 should be nullified. He said that he wrote a letter to the National As­sembly speaker over the matter but did not get any response.

The parliamentary affairs min­istry had notified the appointment of Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui and Munir Ahmed Kakar as ECP mem­bers from Sindh and Balochistan respectively after