Friday, December 03, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Railways and PTI leader Azam Swati Friday apologised to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over his allegations against the commission.
A bench, comprising ECP members Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Mohammad Jatoi, conducted the hearing of the show-cause notice issued against the minister.
During the hearing, Barrister Ali Zafar, lawyer for Azam Swati, appeared before the ECP and submitted an apology letter from the federal minister.
"Was he avoiding coming [before the court]?" asked a commission member.
"He [Azam Swati] had to go to Quetta for some important work, otherwise he would have come," answered Barrister Ali Zafar.
In response to the bench's inquiry about the document he [Azam Swati] wanted to submit, Barrister Zafar read out the apology letter before the ECP members.
"I [Azam Swati] am a law-abiding person, a democratic man. I promote democracy and I have fought against corruption. I respect the Election Commission. My duty is to strengthen the ECP. I have always respected the ECP and did not try to scandalize it. If any such statement came from me, I apologise for it."
After hearing the apology, a member of the ECP stated that the minister should have been present for the hearing. "Political statements should remain to political discussion."
The ECP adjourned the case till December 22 after hearing arguments from Swati's counsel and directed the minister to appear in person at the next hearing.
Meanwhile, the ECP has reserved the verdict in a similar case related to Federal Information Minister Fawad Chauhdry. The minister had earlier apologised to the Election Commission for his slanderous remarks.
Outside the Election Commission, Barrister Ali Zafar told Geo News that the minister has recorded an apology before the court.
"Azam Swati will appear at the next hearing," he said.
The ECP had served notices to Chaudhry and Swati on September 16, seeking explanations within a week from both the ministers for accusations against CEC Sikander Sultan Raja and the commission.
Swati had lashed out at the ECP, accusing it of taking money from companies that make electronic voting machines during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs on September 10.