ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry has apologised to the Election Commission of Pakistan over the allegations he levelled against the electoral body and the chief election commissioner.
The election commission had issued show-cause notices to the information minister and Railways Minister Azam Swati last month after they accused the ECP of taking bribes and the CEC of acting as Opposition’s mouthpiece.
The Railways minister had accused the commission of poll rigging and had said such institutions should be set ablaze.
The remarks from the PTI ministers came days after the ECP raised objections over the bills seeking to amend the elections laws in order to introduce electronic voting machines (EVMs) and internet voting system for overseas Pakistanis.
During today’s hearing, Fawad Chaudhry said that he himself is a lawyer and don’t want to get involved in the matter of show-cause notices.
To this, the ECP members remarked that lawyers do not fight with the courts. “The battle is taken place inside the courts not outside.”
The federal minister said that he has personal respect for the chief election commissioner.
“I am the mouthpiece of the Cabinet, I often say things that are not my words. I did not insult anyone, I apologize,” he said.
On Fawad’s verbal apology, the ECP members directed him to submit the same in writing.
Later, speaking outside the Election Commission, the minister said that he respects institutions and do not speak against them.
“Whatever I speak as information minister, it is the policy of Federal Cabinet. We believe in respecting the institutions and judges and move forward. I hope that the ECP would adopt a positive attitude so that we can move ahead.”
The minister once again invited the opposition parties to sit with the government on electoral and other reforms.
He said a joint session of the Parliament has been summoned on Wednesday to get passed the electoral reforms bills.
Fawad said we will also welcome the suggestions of the opposition parties.
He said the allies of PTI have assured their support and expressed their confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Fawad said it is highly appropriate that the Islamabad High Court has taken notice of the former chief justice Gilgit Baltistan Rana Shamim’s allegations against former CJP Saqib Nisar.