The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership has come down on the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) ministers Fawad Chaudhry, Azam Swati and Babar Awan for criticising Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Senate panel for rejecting the government suggestion on using electronic voting machine (EVM) in next general elections.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, Vice President Maryam Nawaz and party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb condemned in their separate “strong-worded” statements as “a threatening language used by the ministers.”

Shehbaz said that the government was left with the option of “hurling threats” in the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs over the EVM issue because it had no answer to the objections raised over the technical and procedural workings of it.

The PML-N president, who is also the opposition leader in the National Assembly, said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had raised “strong and clear” objections on technical and operational problems associated with the EVM.

The ECP had raised the issue of transparency of the future election but the government had no answer. “On Friday, the ECP representatives had to walk out [from the Senate committee meeting] over the attitude of the government representatives.”

Shehbaz said the threat by the ministers to “set institutions on fire and send them to hell” reflected “terrorism” and was highly condemnable. “This, terrorising and threatening,” he added, was the nature of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Vice President Maryam Nawaz tweeted that the government was threatening with setting the ECP on fire but no one was there to question them.

“We did not criticise the institutions but only the negative characters hiding in them. But here, the government is threatening to set the whole institution on fire and there is no one to question [them],” she wrote in her message on Twitter.

Meanwhile, PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb said that “the PTI attacked democracy and the Constitution by threatening, harassing, terrorising and attempting to coerce the ECP.”

She said that the ruling PTI had committed “the most blatant contempt” of the ECP and demanded punishment for the ministers under Article 10 of the Election Act – which details the power of the election supervisor to award punishment for contempt.

The PTI threatened the ECP during the Senate committee meeting and then started onslaught against the election commission through press talks.

“The PML-N will not allow [it], no matter how many threats, terrorising tactics and harassment ploys this government uses,” she concluded.


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