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Thursday January 27, 2022

It appears ex-GB chief judge's affidavit got to newspaper through Nawaz Sharif: info minister

"PML-N has sponsored the campaign against the army and judiciary," Fawad Chaudhry alleges

By Web Desk
November 30, 2021
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry briefing the media on decisions taken by the federal cabinet, in Islamabad, on November 30, 2021. — PID
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry briefing the media on decisions taken by the federal cabinet, in Islamabad, on November 30, 2021. — PID

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said that it appears that an affidavit of former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim containing allegations against former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nasir was sent to the newspaper that broke the story "through Nawaz Sharif".

A couple of weeks earlier, Shamim, according to a report by The News, alleged in an affidavit notarised in the UK that Nisar had directed a high court judge to not release former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, on bail at any cost before the 2018 general glections.

The information minister, addressing a post-cabinet meeting press conference, questioned how an affidavit that was in a locker in London be published in Pakistan. The former top judge of GB had, in court earlier today, said it was a sealed document, not meant to be viewed by the general public.

Chaudhry hoped that the judiciary would take the case to its rightful conclusion.

"PML-N has sponsored the campaign against the army and judiciary," Chaudhry alleged.

ECP to get election fund if it agrees to use EVMs

The cabinet was briefed on the introduction of the electronic voting machine (EVM) and the empowerment of overseas Pakistanis to vote, a statement from the PM's Office said.

Federal Minister Shibli Faraz gave a briefing on the procurement of EVMs, training of staff, responsibilities of concerned agencies, public awareness campaign, and timely delivery, the statement said.

Moreover, it said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would get funds from the government to hold the next polls only if it holds the elections via electronic voting machines (EVMs).

"The cabinet also expressed grave concerns over the release of a video of alleged vote-buying during the by-elections in NA 133. The cabinet said such illegal actions were anti-democratic," the statement said.

The war for votes between PML-N and PPP in Lahore's NA-133, where a by-election is due on December 5, had gone beyond the constituency to social media, where a viral video appeared to show voters being bribed by party members.

Both parties had blamed each other's workers for the alleged move.

Gas load management plan

Chaudhry said under a gas load management plan, gas supply to the CNG sector will remain suspended from December 1 till February 15, 2022.

However, the full supply would be provided to Independent Power Producers, fertiliser companies, and export-oriented industries.

Chaudhry said 5% additional gas will be provided to power plants operating on LNG. The minister added that gas saved from the CNG, cement, and Captive Power Plants will be provided to domestic consumers.

He said the use of electricity is also being encouraged in the winter season and its tariff was reduced for domestic consumers as in incentive.

The federal cabinet was informed that the prices of flour, sugar, lentils, and gram lentils in Sindh were much higher as compared to other provinces, the PM's Office statement said.

"The cabinet expressed grave concern over the rising prices of essential commodities in Sindh," the statement added.