Stories about Fawad Chaudhry

PTI and the confederacy of dunces

I remember watching an interview of Hassan Nisar, an ardent supporter of Imran Khan, in early December 2018, when the PTI government was still in its relative infancy. In the video, Nisar, while lamenting the poor performance of the government, pleaded with the ministers to at least stay quiet on social and electronic media and keep their public profile low. He was visibly irked due to a bevy of irresponsible statements and several other blunders made by a long list of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ministers. A few months later, Mohmmad Hanif, renowned Pakistani novelist and columnist, wrote that the provision of constant entertainment ...

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Is the Ruet-e-Hilal committee obsolete?

For years now, the image of a cluster of bearded men hovering over a telescope has become a staple sight in Pakistan. The head of this entourage, Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman, has long wielded great influence over the members of this committee. However, in recent times, the concept of the moon sighting has evolved into an almost comical political issue, where individuals continue to exchange barbs in an attempt to gain control of their increasingly eroding clout and status. It is almost as if the functioning of the Ruet-e-Hilal committee has now morphed into a battle of egos between over-aged, obsolete clerics, vying to secure ...

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Is Fawad Chaudhry really the best person for the job?

It’s March 25, 1992. England is chasing a target of 250 to become the victor of the cricket World Cup in Australia. Experienced duo Allan Lamb and Neil Fairbrother have tilted the game in England’s favour, and Pakistan captain Imran Khan has to apply his cricket dexterity to take a wicket as blocking runs isn’t going to work. He needs to ensure the right person throws the ball, and brings in Wasim Akram. The rest, as they say, is history. References to the 1992 World Cup final are generally used a lot these days to offer sarcastic commentary on PM ...

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Pakistan’s space programme: Achievable goal or impossible dream?

Last year, newly anointed Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry boldly announced that Pakistan would launch its first manned space mission in 2022, and as expected, many people took to social media to voice their amusement. The statement cracked many smiles and it became the subject of much ridicule and cynicism. For the first time in a long time, a Pakistani minister had publicly shown interest in and hinted at developing a space programme. Although space travel may not seem like a necessary concern for a developing nation like Pakistan, the feat would require incomparable resources and in the process ...

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Imran Khan’s 8-month conundrum: Taking the right decision or the popular one?

Ever since Imran Khan has been sworn in as the prime minister of Pakistan, somehow his administration has never failed to supply flabbergasting news every now and then. His right-hand man on the economy and star finance minister, Asad Umar, has stepped down, followed by a major reshuffle in the cabinet in which various cabinet members saw their portfolios changed. For instance, Fawad Chaudhry is now the Minister for Science and Technology, despite brushing off such rumours just a few days ago. This may smell of chaos inside the administration, but I seriously doubt it. I actually welcome the move because ...

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Who decides Usman Buzdar and other lawmakers’ salaries?

Last week, the Punjab Assembly unanimously passed a bill within five minutes which increased the salaries of the chief minister, speaker, deputy speaker, MNAs and MPAs to an incredible extent. According to the details of this bill, the speaker’s monthly salary was increased from Rs37,000 to Rs200,000, while his deputy would receive Rs185,000 instead of Rs35,000. The MPAs, who used to earn Rs18,000, would earn Rs80,000 every month. CM Buzdar’s own salary was increased by Rs59,000.  After the matter was taken up by social media, Imran expressed his sheer disappointment and termed the decision ‘untenable’. The Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry also labelled the development ...

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Despite his achievements, Imran Khan does not deserve a Nobel Peace Prize

A few days ago, a resolution was moved in the National Assembly requesting nomination of a Nobel Peace Prize for Imran Khan. The resolution, which comes after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s decision to release the Indian pilot, argues that Imran has “played a sagacious role in reducing recent tensions between Pakistan and India which were created due to the warmongering attitude of the Indian leadership”. It further states that Imran averted possible war by “deft handling” of the crisis. After the news of the resolution broke out, the entire media erupted. The resolution has led to fierce debate, both in electronic and ...

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The Information Mystery: Is PTI caught in social media’s spinning web?

The current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government seems to be at crossroads once again as debate on media and press freedom takes a dark turn with each statement spurred by the Information Ministry headed by Fawad Chaudhry. Speaking at an event recently, Chaudhry warned media houses that “their current model would not last long if they didn’t change their ways”. Rather than appearing to be an advice from the concerned federal authority, it seemed to be soaked in threatening tones. “The news media wants government advertisements and sponsorship, but what would happen to its freedom if the media looks up to the ...

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#SahiwalEncounter: Is that all we are now, “human shields” and “collateral damage”?

I don’t intend for it to sound sensational, but there were four bullets in a 13-year-old child’s body that were paid for by our tax money. This would be an appropriate time to question our security policies. Four people were recently shot dead by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel on a highway in the Sahiwal district. The incident resulted in the deaths of the driver and three members of a family, including both parents who have left behind three orphaned children. Counter Terrorism Deptt (CTD) opens fire on a car in Sahiwal and kills 4 people while 3 kids miraculously survive. ...

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With a no tolerance policy on criticism, how is the PTI government different from an authoritarian regime?

The announcement that Dr Farrukh Saleem is in fact not the spokesperson on economic and energy issues is the latest event in the chain of comedies produced by the incumbent government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Saleem was appointed as spokesperson for the government on economic and energy issues in October. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted about Saleem’s appointment, and since then Saleem appeared on TV many times as the spokesperson for the government. Ministry of Information is pleased to announce that Dr Farrukh Saleem will be the Government’s spokesperson on Economy and energy issues, notification shall follow accordingly @SaleemFarrukh — Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) ...

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