- Two-member bench headed by Nisar Ahmed Durrani reserves verdict on railways minister's petition
Railways Minister Azam Swati has apologised to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for causing any grievances, saying that he has always tried to make the commission "strong".
A two-member bench headed by Nisar Ahmed Durrani took up the case pertaining to the minister's allegations about the ECP and the chief election commissioner. During the hearing on Friday, Swati's chief counsel told the bench that his client had to suddenly leave for Quetta and could not attend today's hearing, Aaj News reported.
Durrani granted an exemption to Swati for today's hearing. The counsel read out Swati's apology in which the minister said that he had always worked to strengthen institutions. At this, Durrani said that ECP was doing its work with integrity and all institutions should respect one another.
The bench reserved its verdict and directed Swati to appear before it on December 22. Swati had accused the commission of rigging polls and said that such institutions should be “set on fire”.
"This ECP is good for nothing-it always rigged polls-it took bribes for that purpose-such institutions should be set on fire," Swati said in a hard-hitting diatribe against the ECP.
The minister added, "The ECP is making mockery of government's efforts to hold free and fair elections. It would not be allowed to undermine democracy."
Meanwhile, the bench also reserved its verdict on Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry's written apology. The information minister had also alleged that the ECP had become a headquarters for the opposition parties.
In his apology, Chauhdry said that he "personally respects" the CEC, adding that he did not abuse anyone.
"I am sorry. I apologise for my words," the information minister said.