Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry apologizes to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the allegations he leveled against the electoral body and the chief election commissioner. Earlier, Fawad Chaudhry described the chief of the commission as a mouthpiece of the Opposition.
Fawad Chaudhry and Railways Minister Azam Swati had blasted the ECP for its objections against Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). The ECP has pointed out flaws in the government’s plans about EVMs and opposed their use for the next general elections, while the government is pushing legislation to introduce EVMs.
As a result of his tirade against the ECP, Fawad Chaudhry received a show-cause notice, along with Azam Swati.
Read more: Set ECP on fire: Azam Swati
During today’s hearing regarding the show-cause notice, Fawad Chaudhry apologized to the ECP. He also stressed that he respected the institutions. Moreover, Fawad Chaudhry clarified that he is a lawyer himself and does not wish to get caught up in show-cause notices. Furthermore, 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.
“I am sorry,” said the Minister, ” I apologize for my words.”
Members of the ECP present at the hearing directed Fawad Chaudhry to submit his apology in writing.
Fawad Chaudhry urges Opposition to consider reforms
Speaking to journalists after the hearing, Chaudhry said he was hopeful that the ECP would take his statement positively.
The information minister said it was natural for the government to propose electoral reforms before elections. He urged the opposition to consider the proposed reforms.
ای وی ایم اور انتخابی اصلاحات پی ٹی آئی اور عمران خان کا ذاتی نہیں، قومی ایجنڈا ہے جب اصلاحات کی طرف جاتے ہیں تو اپوزیشن شور مچانا شروع کر دیتی ہے. اصلاحات لازمی ہیں، کل ہم یہ بل پاس کروا رہے ہیں، تمام اتحادیوں نے وزیراعظم کی قیادت پر مکمل اعتماد کا اظہار کیا ہے. @fawadchaudhry pic.twitter.com/f1P2NB1rcn
— Fawad Chaudhry (Updates) (@FawadPTIUpdates) November 16, 2021
Speaking about former Judge Shamim Rana’s statement, Chaudhry said opposition Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz had a history of attacking institutions. It first launched a smear campaign against the army and now it is conspiring against the judiciary, he said.