Shah Khawar outlines path to elect PCB chairman amid legal controversies

Shah Khawar who assumed the powers of Chairman PCB earlier this week held a press conference at Gaddafi Stadium

Shah Khawar outlines path to elect PCB chairman amid legal controversies PHOTO: PCB

Mr Shah Khawar, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Election Commissioner of PCB, who assumed the powers of Chairman PCB earlier this week held a press conference at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

Mr Shah Khawar: “I would like to welcome you all here and start of by saying that before assuming the charge of chairman PCB this week, I was earlier appointed as Chief Election Commissioner of PCB for period of three months – the tenure of which is supposed to end on 4 February. My primary responsibility is to constitute of a Board of Governors and hold elections for the post of chairman.”

“It is worth mentioning that we were earlier confronted with a serious problem because of a restraining order of the Balochistan High Court which prohibited the formation of a new Board of Governors (BoG). However, we were able to convince the Balochistan High Court to dismiss that writ petition and the restraining order altogether. After this, I approached the Management Committee and its chairman and urged them to hold elections in light of this new development.

“Apart from that my appointment as Election Commissioner itself had been challenged in the Lahore High Court. The writ petition stated that I could not fulfil my duties in this capacity since I was a professional lawyer and had to have license suspended to take up charge as Election Commissioner PCB.

“Moreover the outgoing Management Committee had called a meeting on 16 January wherein the formation of the BoG and elections of the chairman were to be discussed. However, the IPC Ministry called off that meeting stating that the Management Committee did not have the authority to constitute the Board of Governors.”

“After this, the previous Chairman Management Committee Mr Zaka Ashraf resigned and I had to take charge of the office of the chairman. Following this, Prime Minster Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar who is also the patron of PCB granted me an extension for an additional one month. My responsibility is to hold elections and constitute a board of governors at the earliest.”

On the process of electing the PCB Chairman, Mr Shah Khawar said: “The Prime Minister is the patron of the PCB and has the authority to nominate two members in the BoG which he has already done. The PCB constitution does not disallow the caretaker Chief Minister to assume his duties as BoG member. The chairman office is not an office of profit.

“According to the constitution, the election commissioner is empowered and responsible for holding the elections at the due time. The constitution says that normally whenever a BoG is dissolved, elections are supposed to be held within four months and the elections commissioner authorised to perform duties of the chairman for the interim period. This setup will remain till 3 February and then hand over power to the elected officials.

“Election of the PCB Chairman depends on the constituition of the Board of Governors; if we are able to do it tomorrow, we can hold elections within one week. 8 February [the day of General Elections] is not a benchmark for us.”

Shedding light on his duties in the current role, Mr Shah Khawar stated: “My job is to oversee the day-to-day affairs. Some of the contracts of certain officials are already expiring. If it is necessary, we might make some short-term appointments within our limits.

“The cricket administration has already started the process of holding HBL PSL in which the interior ministry is involved and is in liaison with the PCB.”

Regarding his meeting with Director Pakistan Men’s Cricket Team Mohammad Hafeez, Mr Shah Khawar said: “Hafeez met us along with chief selector Wahab Riaz and Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer and we had a general discussion regarding the team’s performances in Australia and New Zealand. He will furnish a formal report assessing the team’s performances and reasons for defeats in the Test and T20I series.

“On the issue of granting NOCs to players to participate in franchise leagues, the PCB has the policy of giving centrally contracted players permission to attain NOC for a maximum of two leagues apart from HBL PSL over the course of a year. Their first priority has to be to play for Pakistan and all centrally contracted players must adhere to this.”