Railways Minister Azam Swati apologised to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday for his statements against the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the electoral watchdog.
However, the minister did not attend the hearing in person. The hearing was held by a three-member bench of the ECP.
The commission asked Swati’s lawyer where he was, to which Barrister Ali Zafar, while requesting the minister to be granted an exemption for not appearing, stated that the minister was not there today and that he was present in his stead.
In the commission, a member of the Senate asked if the minister was ignoring the ECP, as he was absent during the last hearing because he was in the Senate.
The barrister maintained that Swati has appeared before the Election Commission twice and has now also submitted his apology.
The lawyer read out a written apology from the minister before the commission.
In the apology, the railways minister said that he always tried to make the Election Commission stronger and apologised if he had offended anyone.
“I never tried to scandalize the Election Commission. I am a federal minister, and have always worked towards strengthening institutions,” it read.
Sindh member Nisar Durrani remarked that Azam Swati will have to come forward and apologise.
“The Election Commission is doing its job honestly, and all institutions should come to respect each other,” he stated.
The Commission exempted the minister for his absence for the day. Later, the ECP summoned Swati in person on December 22.
Fawad Chaudhry apology
The ECP further preserved the decision on Fawad Chaudhry's written apology, remarking that it would issue appropriate order on the apology.
Last month, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry apologised to the ECP for his statements against the CEC and ECP.
The apology came during a hearing regarding the issue of allegations levelled by him and railways minister Azam Khan Swati against the CEC and the ECP.
Minister Azam Swati and his lawyer, Ali Zafar, did not attend the hearing owing to the ongoing Senate session, as per Zafar's assistant counsel. The ECP warned of indicting the railway minister if his reply was not submitted by the next hearing.
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