Tuesday Nov 30, 2021
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said Tuesday it seemed like the newspaper, which reported on the notarised affidavit of ex-chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim, had "obtained it from Nawaz Sharif".
A couple of weeks earlier, Shamim, according to a report by The News, had alleged in a notarised affidavit that then-chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar had directed a high court judge to not release former premier Nawaz and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, on bail "at any cost before the 2018 General Elections."
The information minister questioned how could an affidavit that was in a locker in London be published in Pakistan. The former top Judge of GB had, in court earlier today, said: "The affidavit was sealed, I don't know how it got leaked."
During today's proceedings, Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah told Shamim that he had tried to shake the public's confidence in the judiciary.
"I was contacted after my affidavit was published. I confirmed it [...] I did not submit the affidavit for publication," the ex-judge told the IHC.
Meanwhile, the information minister, addressing a post-cabinet press conference, said that the case's proceedings were taking place in the IHC, as he hoped that the judiciary would take the matter to its logical conclusion.
"PML-N has sponsored the campaign against army and judiciary," Fawad said, as he berated the former ruling party.
EVMs condition for ECP's election fund
The cabinet was briefed on the introduction of the electronic voting machine (EVM) and the empowerment of Overseas Pakistanis to vote, a statement from the PM's Office said.
Federal Minister Shibli Faraz gave a briefing on procurement of EVM, training of staff, responsibilities of concerned agencies, public awareness campaign, and timely delivery, the statement said.
Moreover, the information said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would get funds from the government to hold the next polls only if it holds the elections via electronic voting machines (EVMs).
"The cabinet also expressed grave concerns over the release of a video of alleged vote-buying during the by-elections in NA 133. The cabinet said such illegal actions were anti-democratic," the statement said.
The war for votes between PML-N and PPP in Lahore's NA-133, where a by-election is due on December 5, had gone beyond the constituency to social media, where a viral video appeared to show voters being bribed by party members.
Both parties had blamed each other's workers for the alleged move.
Gas load management plan
Chaudhary said under the gas load management plan, gas supply to the CNG sector will remain suspended from December 1 till February 15, 2022.
However, the information minister said gas supply would be fully provided to the Independent Power Producers, fertiliser companies, and export-oriented industries.
Chaudhry said 5% additional gas will be provided to the power plants being operated on the LNG. The minister added the gas saved from the CNG, cement, and Captive Power Plants will be provided to the domestic consumers.
He said the use of electricity is also being encouraged in the winter season and its tariff had been reduced for domestic consumers to entice them to shift their appliances to electricity.
Furthermore, the federal cabinet was informed that the prices of flour, sugar, lentils, and gram lentils in Sindh were much higher as compared to other provinces, the PM Office's statement said.
"The Cabinet expressed grave concerns over the rising prices of essential commodities in Sindh," the statement added.