Can't connect right now! retry
Tuesday Jun 22 2021
Web Desk

PPP, PML-N want to keep overseas Pakistanis out of election process: Fawad Chaudhry

Web Desk
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry speaks to the media after the cabinet meeting. Photo: Radio Pakistan
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry speaks to the media after the cabinet meeting. Photo: Radio Pakistan 

  • Fawad Chaudhry says electoral reforms are pending due to problems being faced over the right to vote for overseas Pakistanis.
  • Fawad Chaudhry claims PML-N and PPP want to keep overseas Pakistanis out of election process.
  • Federal cabinet approves import of 1 million metric tonnes of wheat despite record production.

Federal Information for Minister, Fawad Chaudhry claimed on Tuesday that the “PPP and PML-N are fearful of overseas Pakistanis”. 

The minister, addressing a news conference, said that overseas Pakistanis did not trust the PPP and the PML-N leadership. 

Chaudhry spoke about the overseas Pakistanis and the impediments in the electoral reforms in a press conference after a cabinet meeting.

“Electoral reforms are pending due to the problems being faced regarding the right to vote for overseas Pakistanis,” said the minister. He added that people residing abroad should have the right to vote as they send over Rs1 trillion in remittances to Pakistan. 

The minister also credited overseas Pakistanis for being the main reason for Pakistan's growth. 

Read more: Overseas Pakistanis get right to vote in National Assembly, says Zulfi Bukhari

“PML-N and PPP want to keep overseas Pakistanis out of the election process, "alleged Chaudhry, accusing the two parties of trying to ensure overseas Pakistanis didn't get the right to vote. 

The information minister said overseas Pakistanis do not trust Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, adding that they had complete trust in Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Chaudhry criticises ECP

Chaudhry also slammed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for objecting to the election bill.

The minister said that the ECP cannot raise questions over the Parliament’s decisions, noting that the commission’s job is to implement the law approved by the Parliament.

“If someone wants to do politics then they must leave ECP and form a political party. Parliament is supreme, ECP should respect the privileges of the Parliament,” said Chaudhry.

Read more: Ahsan Iqbal casts aspersions over govt's electoral reforms

The MNA also claimed that it is the political leadership’s job to decide the process for elections, not the ECP. He added that parliament will figure out the process to hold elections. 

The minister also claimed that the ECP was represented in a committee headed by the President. He said that the ECP should make arrangements for electronic voting.

“We possess the ability to develop electronic voting machines,” said Chaudhry.

‘Parliamentary leaders should sit with govt on electoral reforms’

The minister also chided former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on the issue of electoral reforms.

Chaudhry said that the government does not consider the three leaders as “stakeholders” when it comes to discussing electoral reforms. 

“Parliamentary leaders should sit with us and discuss electoral reforms. People in Parliament should talk about electoral reforms,” stressed the information minister. He also made it clear that the electoral reforms can only be discussed with the parties in Parliament.

Cabinet approves import of wheat

The information minister also announced the series of decisions taken by the federal cabinet in today’s meeting.

Chaudhry said that the cabinet has approved the import of another 1 million metric tonnes of wheat. He added that the government had to approve the import of wheat even though Pakistan had a “record production” of wheat this year.

The information minister said that a new law is being introduced to help the government take back government-owned properties.

Read more: Annoyed by hoarders, 'mafias', govt to step into agri sector supply chain

“Railways, abandoned waqf properties and other federal agencies will be able to reclaim their lands through this law,” said Chaudhry.

Among other decisions, Cabinet has approved the appointment of Aslam Khan as the new PIA chairman and Asim Riaz as the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan’s (DRAP) CEO for three months

Chaudhry also announced that a cabinet sub-committee on NGOs has also been formed.