ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said the next elections should be held through electronic voting machines (EVMs)and “they will be held accordingly.”
Addressing a press conference following a meeting of the federal cabinet, the minister said that the government will abide by whatever orders come from the court.
Chaudhry added that a committee has been formed regarding EVMs which will liaise with the Election Commission of Pakistan.
“We will provide whatever help the Election Commission needs from the government regarding EVMs,” he assured the nation.
The minister added that the PML-N should be thankful to the incumbent government as “now Nawaz Sharif’s sons will also be allowed to vote” in the next general elections.
‘Maryam Nawaz, PML-N social media wing create fake leaks’
Accusing PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz of “creating fake leaks,” Chaudhry said that there have been many such videos and “this is not the first time”.
Maryam’s attitude has “always been negative”, he said, adding that she and PML-N’s social media wing “create fake leaks”.
Furthermore, casting further aspersions on Maryam, he said that “perhaps Maryam Nawaz is also creating videos of her own party members to bring them under her control”.
Chaudhry claimed that an audio clip attributed to former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar “has been proved false”.
“All the people involved in these games are right before us,” he said.
An audio clip allegedly featuring Nisar was leaked online in which a man could be heard telling another person that Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz “would have to be punished to make space for Imran Khan in politics.”
Meanwhile, welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision to disassociate itself from the campaign against judges, Chaudhry said that he had advised the SC to remain neutral on the issue.
On Sunday, he had tweeted: “Advised SCBA that they should remain neutral, only then lawyers can contribute!”
The minister added that the press release of the Supreme Court Bar Association is in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan.
‘Flour prices in Karachi are higher’
On the rising inflation in the country, Chaudhry told the media that the price of sugar will come down to Rs85 per kg in the next fortnight.
“Unfortunately, prices of essential commodities in Karachi are much higher than the rest of the country,” he lamented, adding that price of tomatoes, onions and garlic have come down.
The minister, however, added that the price of oil and electricity prices are rising.
“Flour prices in Karachi are higher as compared to other cities of the country,” he said, adding that sugar is currently being sold at Rs107 per kg in Karachi.
It is pertinent to mention here that the weekly inflation in Pakistan, based on the Sensitive Price Index (SPI), for the week that ended on November 18, registered an increase of 18.34% (year-on-year) for the combined income group — highest since April 2021.
According to the provisional figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the average prices of 27 essential items, including chicken, cooking oil, bananas, vegetable ghee, eggs, etc., rose during the outgoing week.
Meanwhile, prices of 10 items, including tomatoes, sugar, onions and potatoes bag underwent a decline.
‘Decisions taken at the provincial level have proved to be better’
Responding to Fawad Chaudhry, Sindh Minister for Information Saeed Ghani said that since the federal minister has joined PTI he “neither knows about the constitution nor does he know about the laws.”
“All the decisions taken at the provincial level have proved to be better than those taken at the federal level,” he said.
The provincial minister said that Sindh had procured 1.2 million tons of wheat according to the needs of the province.
“Wheat production in Punjab is more than 70%,” Ghani said, adding that the commodity disappears in the province within a month of the new crop. “Where did the 6.6 million tons of wheat go?”
“Is Sindh responsible?” Ghani questioned the federal minister.
He said: “We [people of Sindh] are suffering due to the incompetence of the federal government.”
Speaking about inflation, he said that when the price of petrol is Rs145 per litre in Pakistan, while the value of the rupee against the US dollar plunged to an all-time low of Rs175, “then who can control inflation?”
Answering Chaudhry’s statement regarding higher prices in Karachi, Ghani said that the provincial government has a price control mechanism.
“The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) releases inflation data of the entire country and not just for Sindh,” he said.
“The incompetence of the federal government has led to the sugar, flour, gas crises,” he added.