Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Wednesday apologised for “insensitive” and “inappropriate” remarks made by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan regarding the devastating earthquake that jolted parts of the country a day earlier.
“Since government means collective responsibility, I apologise for the shock and hurt felt by the SAPM’s insensitive and inappropriate remarks on the earthquake and her jocular tone on an issue of human suffering,” Mazari said in a tweet.
Awan, who had been addressing a ceremony in Islamabad yesterday right when the earthquake struck, had made light of the situation after the tremors subsided.
“It’s a sign of change that even the earth has shifted. Even [the earth] does not want to accept this change, [which has come] so rapidly,” she could be heard saying in a widely shared video..
Mazari, in a series of tweets on Wednesday, apologised for Awan’s remarks, saying: “The Information SAPM’s remarks on the earthquake were insensitive, absolutely inappropriate and most certainly had nothing to do with government viewpoint. Human suffering can never be made light of.”
Awan also addressed the outrage her statements had caused, saying in a tweet: “We had been talking about the effects of social media. The earthquake struck suddenly and the attendees were worried. I made those remarks in light of [our conversation] in order to lift the spirits of the [scared] audience.”
In a video statement released on Twitter, the SAPM said: “A fabricated, baseless and negative report about me is circulating on social media and electronic media which is being labelled as [my] comment on the earthquake.
“I condemn this act and […] appeal not to twist facts. This is a serious matter and [considering] the current situation of the earthquake [destruction], do not turn [my remarks] into a source of amusement.”