The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) accepted the apologies of Railway Minister Azam Swati and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry for their accusations against the election body.
To clarify, earlier, both ministers lashed out at ECP for its reservations on the usage of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Azam Swati accused ECP of rigging elections and said such institutions should be set on fire. Swati had also leveled serious allegations of bribery on ECP officials. Meanwhile, Fawad Chaudhry described the chief of the commission as a mouthpiece of the Opposition.
As a result of their tirade, the ECP issued show-cause notices to the ministers. Fawad Chaudhry appeared before the ECP and apologized. He said that as a minister of information, he says whatever is the policy of his cabinet.
“I am the mouthpiece of the cabinet. At times I say things but the words are not my own,” Fawad Chaudhry reportedly said. The Minister said he “personally respects” the Chief of Election Commission and did not abuse anyone.
Azam Swati on the other hand failed to appear for the ECP hearing. The Minister submitted his apology through his lawyer. However, the ECP neither accepted nor rejected the apology but directed the minister to appear in person at the next hearing.
Cases fixed for hearing before the ECP tomorrow, includes Azam Swati’s “derogatory and contemptuous” remarks against the ECP. pic.twitter.com/EX74IzzWox
— Benazir Shah (@Benazir_Shah) October 20, 2021
Azam Swati expresses gratitude
Wednesday, Azam Swati finally appeared before the ECP where the electoral body pardoned him. The ECP also questioned the minister on his absence from earlier hearings.
At the hearing, Azam Swati remarked that he always advocated for the independence of the ECP. In response, ECP advised the minister not to make such negative comments about institutions.
“All the institutions are yours; it is not appropriate to talk bad about them,” the ECP remarked.
The ECP accepted the apologies of the ministers. However, it warned them against repeating their mistakes again. Azam Swati expressed gratitude to the ECP for accepting his apology. He stated that the ECP will make sound judgments regarding EVMs and that the government will support them in order to bolster the ECP.