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Fawad Chauhdry apologises to ECP for raising allegations

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has apologised to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for his tirade and hurling allegations against the electoral body and chief election commissioner.

The minister appeared before an ECP bench in pursuance of its show-cause notice pleading with the commission to quash the case against him. During the hearing, Fawad Chaudhry said he does not want to get involved in the matter of show-cause notices.

“I am the mouthpiece of the government and a lawyer too. I haven’t verbally abused anybody,” he stated before aplogising to the electoral body for his remarks. The ECP instructed the minister to submit a written apology instead which he agreed.

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.  On Fawad’s verbal apology, the ECP members directed him to submit in writing which he agreed.

The election commission had issued show-cause notices to the information minister and Railways Minister Azam Swati last month over the allegations levelled against the ECP under the Contempt of Court law 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.

Later, speaking outside the Election Commission, the minister said that he respects institutions and does 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.”