Calls for withdrawal of notices; Plans direct subsidies to 10m people
Staff Reporter Islamabad
Ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan to withdraw its notices served to the federal ministers following their allegations against the country’s top poll supervisory body.
“We believe that ECP’s notices are unfair and they should be withdrawn,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said.
He was addressing a press conference alongside Special Assistant to the PM on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill after a meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s core committee held in the federal capital with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.
The ECP in September served notices on Fawad Ch and Railways Minister Azam Swati seeking evidence, if any, of their recent allegations against the polls supervisory body.
Swati, during a Senate committee meeting, had accused the ECP of taking bribes to rig elections and said such institutions should be “set on fire”.
Similarly, Fawad had also accused the Chief Election Commissioner of acting as a “mouthpiece for the opposition parties”.
Briefing the media, Fawad said the committee expressed serious concerns over the conduct of ECP and termed the notices against him and Swati unfair.
Speaking on the occasion, PM’s aide on political communication Shahbaz Gill said all committee members including the premier disapproved the ECP notices maintaining that everyone had the right to free speech in a democratic society.
Besides ECP matter, Fawad said the ruling party members also discussed issues relating to rising inflation and local body elections.
The information minister without providing details said it was decided in the meeting that the direct subsidy will be provided to over 10 million people amid skyrocketing inflation in the country.
The ruling party also decided in principle to hold direct elections for mayors in Punjab and preparations for the polls were in final phase, he added.
Gill told media persons that the PM was expected to address the nation to take people into confidence on the current economic situation in the country and share details of the inflation package.
The government has been facing severe criticism from the opposition, particularly after the premier approved a Rs10 increase in the price of petrol last month.
Major opposition parties, including the PML-N and the PPP, have held country-wide rallies and protests over what they term “unprecedented inflation in the country”.