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ISLAMABAD: For the second time in less than two years, former leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Fawad Chaudhry has apologised to the poll body— this time in another contempt case— as the electoral entity has reserved its verdict in the case to be announced in the next hearing scheduled on this month's 15th.

In the case proceedings on Tuesday, Chaudhry, along with his counsel and brother Faisal Chaudhry, appeared before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) bench that hears this case.

The former PTI leader submitted his written apology. The bench pointed out that Chaudhry’s apology was “conditional.”

To this, the defence lawyer replied, “These are just technicalities—we tender unconditional apology, please accept it.”

The bench then reserved its verdict and adjourned the case till August 15.

Last month, Chaudhry appeared in person before the ECP bench and tendered verbal apology in the contempt case. The bench directed him to tender written apology, which, he finally did, on Tuesday.

Speaking to the media after Tuesday’s hearing, Chaudhry said, “Tension between Imran Khan and establishment needs to be defused.”

“Unless this hostility is defused, how the elections can be held; even if they are held, how would the problem be solved,” he asked.

“There is no atmosphere of going to elections. If elections are held in this environment, they would be of no use. It’s better to create a Majlis-e-Shoora than going for elections in these circumstances,” he said.

The ex-PTI leader suggested that a “charter of democracy” be inked between “establishment, Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif to defuse tension.

On August 19, last year, the ECP issued contempt notices to the PTI chief, another PTI leader Asad Umar, and Chaudhry, for their strong public criticism of the ECP and Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

On February 14, this year, Umar first tendered written apology to the ECP but retracted it the very next day, saying the ECP was “clearly a party and not acting as an impartial constitutional body.”

In a video message released then, Umar said, “Regardless of the legal language used by lawyers in the written reply, I stand by my words about the ECP that it is clearly a party and not acting as an impartial constitutional body.”

In November 2021, Chaudhry, who was the information minister at that time, apologised to the electoral body for contempt—after he termed CEC Raja “a mouthpiece for PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz)” in the September of the same year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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