Railways minister, Azam Swati apologizes to ECP

Dec 3, 2021: Railway Minister Azam Swati on Friday apologized to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for his statements against the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the election watchdog.

However, the Minister did not attend the hearing in person. A three-member ECP bench heard the case. The commission asked Azam Swati’s lawyer where he was, to which Barrister Ali Zafar pleaded with the minister to excuse him from attending, saying the minister was not there today and he was in his place. A member of the Senate on the commission questioned whether the minister was ignoring the ECP as he was absent during the last hearing due to being in the Senate.

Barrister said that Azam Swati has appeared before the Election Commission twice and has now submitted an apology. The lawyer read out a written apology from the minister before the commission.

In the apology letter, the Railway Minister said that he always tried to strengthen the Election Commission and if anyone was offended, he apologizes for it. “I have never tried to discredit the Election Commission. I am a federal minister, and have always worked to strengthen institutions.”

Sindh Assembly member Nisar Durrani remarked that Azam Swati would have to come forward and apologize. He said that the Election Commission was doing its job honestly and all institutions should respect each other.

The commission exempted the minister from absenteeism throughout the day. The ECP later summoned Azam Swati in person on December 22.

The ECP reserved its decision on Fawad Chaudhry’s written pardon and remarked that it would issue appropriate order on pardon.

Last month, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry apologized to the ECP for his statements against the CEC and the ECP.

The apology came during a hearing on the allegations leveled by him and Railway Minister Azam Khan Swati against the CEC and ECP.

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