- Information Minister says National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is in contact with the opposition to develop consensus over the issue
Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Core Committee wants the proposed electoral reforms to come to the parliament soon, adding that National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is in contact with the opposition to develop consensus over the issue.
Talking to reporters in Islamabad after the Core Committee meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Fawad said that we are trying to create a system that can help in preventing vote-rigging.
Addressing the opposition parties, the Information Minister said: “if you have an alternative [system], then you should present it.”
Earlier this week, the government postponed a joint session of the parliament scheduled for Thursday as the coalition parties had reservations about the electoral reforms bill.
The joint session had been called by the government to pass the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance (Amendment) Bill and electoral reforms bill.
On its part, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) continues to reject the PTI government’s electoral reforms and the idea of introducing electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the general election, terming it as the “simplest way to rig the polls.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that over the past 50 years, Pakistan had failed to conduct free, fair, and transparent elections that are acceptable to all parties. Khan said that people who benefit from the corrupt system are opposing the use of EVMs for their vested interests.
Meanwhile, Fawad further said that PTI was the only first federal party of Pakistan whose vote is spread all across the country. “Imran Khan and the PTI talks about federation’s interests, unlike many other parties,” he claimed.
Talking about Imran Khan’s summon to the Supreme Court earlier this week, he said that Prime Minister’s appearance on short notice shows that PTI respects the country's constitution and courts.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan had expressed concern over the government’s ongoing talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and questioned what action had been taken on the killing of seven policemen in Sadhoki.
Prime Minister Khan, in his statement, told the top court that the State shall ensure that proper justice is provided to the victims’ families and in doing so those people responsible and those who failed to perform their duties will be taken to task and dealt with in accordance with the law.
Turning to Pakistan's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Fawad said that "we have successfully fought the pandemic despite being a weak economy."
Talking about the steep rise in inflation, the minister said that the world is still facing the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, he claimed that Pakistan’s economy was doing much better than many others globally.
The minister noted that the salaried class was facing the real challenge due to the rising inflation and the government was taking measures to ease their difficulties.
He also mentioned that while the salaried class faces a challenge, the incomes of people in certain other sectors have increased despite inflation.