Fawad Chaudhary: Minister of Information or Disinformation?
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2018-10-03 06:08:40

Fawad Chaudhary: Minister of Information or Disinformation?

 

Fawad Chaudhary has been labeled as the ‘Minster of Disinformation’ by his critics and supporters alike for giving statements which are later retracted by the flamboyant Information Minister.

Soon after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Fawad Chaudhary announced that the oil-rich Middle Eastern country would become a part of mega China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and was willing to invest $10 billion in the venture.

This statement came as a surprise for strategists across the world who were taken off-guard by this sudden announcement. While many hailed this decision, skepticism prevailed and critics questioned the vitality of Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in CPEC. Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa who was on a visit to China at the time of this announcement, was left alone to squash Beijing’s apprehensions.

Fawad Chaudhary must verify his information before embarking on lengthy and almost daily press conferences so that he may be called the ‘Minister of Information’.

However, much to the dismay of Fawad Chaudhary, the incumbent Finance Minister, Asad Umar, denied this and stated that although KSA has ‘expressed interest’ in becoming a ‘strategic partner’ in the multi-billion dollar project, it has not yet disclosed the exact figure it is willing to invest.

He stated this while talking to Dunya News Senior Anchor Person Dr. Moeed Pirzada on his show ‘Tonight with Moeed Pirzada’. Mr. Fawad has since distanced himself from his statement. This is not the first time Fawad Chaudhary had to face embarrassment.

 

The incumbent government was flayed left and right within the first few weeks of coming to power after Fawad Chaudhary’s ‘fuel estimate’ of PM’s helicopter flight between the Prime Minister House to his home in Bani Gala became public.

Fawad while talking to media stated that the helicopter which Imran Khan uses had a fuel cost of only Rs. 55 per kilometer. While his claim was corroborated by some aviation experts that it was nearer to the truth, the minister’s later statement that he had “googled” the fact instead of relying on official documents became a new source for criticism. The Information Minister became a laughing stock and was trolled on social media by all and sundry. The brewing social media storm disappeared only after CM Punjab came in the limelight for keeping the CM’s protocol which the leaders of the ruling party detested and promised to shirk.

Fawad Chaudhary has been labeled as the ‘Minster of Disinformation’ by his critics and supporters alike for giving statements which are later retracted by the flamboyant Information Minister.

Moreover, Fawad Chaudhary in his maiden press conference, after becoming the Information Minister stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan would not visit any foreign country before three months. This claim was repudiated when PM Khan visited Saudi Arabia only after 30 days of assuming office. Fawad had also boasted that Prime Minister would not use a private plane for foreign tours but Khan used the PM’s personal plane for the visit which also proved Fawad wrong.

Governments always appoint glitzy personalities as Information Minister’s to tame down criticism from opposition and media. However, they are expected to provide real and unbiased information to the media and public so that governments can be held accountable. Fawad Chaudhary must verify his information before embarking on lengthy and almost daily press conferences so that he may be called the ‘Minister of Information’.

Also in a recent development, PTI government has launched “Fake news Buster” account to expose false news emerging and making rounds on social media. Is it possible that the “Buster” will take on the Information Minister’s disinformation habit as its first case?

Zeeshan Munir

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