Wednesday, February 01, 2023
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry said Wednesday that "all institutions are respectable" to him, but refused to take back his hard-hitting statement against the ECP — the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The PTI leader made the remarks during a press conference following his release from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi after a court in Islamabad had granted bail to him in a sedition case.
The former minister — who is facing sedition charges for publicly “threatening” the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a media talk — was arrested from his Lahore residence on January 25 after a case was registered against him by ECP's secretary at Islamabad's Kohsar Police Station.
“The ECP is acting like a clerk. Somebody from the government calls ECP and passes an order, and ECP commissioner, like a clerk, just signs the order and passes it on,” Chaudhry had said last Tuesday in Lahore.
“If you are so weak, why are you here? Go sit in your homes,” he said, adding that his party will “keep chasing” such officials and “punish” them.
Additional Sessions Judge Faizan Gillani approved the former minister's bail plea. Gillani approved the petition on a conditional basis, saying that Fawad should not make such remarks in the future. The court approved the bail against surety bonds of Rs20,000.
"I do not speak against institutions, nor did I speak against them [earlier]. If the MNAs of Jehlum and Mianwali are traitors, then what's left?" he wondered.
Fawad added that nothing would be "left" in Pakistan's politics if some powers "minus" PTI Chairman Imran Khan from the political arena. "If institutions and the people are on the same page, only then can the country prosper."
He said that the country is going through a crisis and it would serve everyone's interests to "plus everyone", hold elections, and take the country forward.
"Hold elections and allow the elected people to form the government. There shouldn't be differences between the institutions and political parties," he said.
Referring to the ECP's sedition case against him, the former information minister said that he stands by his statement and that all institutions are respectable to him.
Fawad further said that his statement was not against the institution, adding that Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja should thrash the ECP secretary for getting the FIR registered.