ISLAMABAD – Living up to his reputation, Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda once again Wednesday snubbed the media inviting a strong protest from journalists who walked out of his press conference leaving him apologetic.
The journalists boycotted the press conference after the minister allegedly started using derogatory language in response to a question raised by a senior journalist.
“You are my elder, therefore, I replied the question, instead if anyone else would have asked this question I would not have answer it and would have removed the mike from here and put it on the side,” Vawda said while responding to a journalist’s question on the occasion.
The minister was addressing a press conference here on Mohmand Dam and the ‘controversial’ bidding process in this regard.
The minister was asked by a senior journalist from an English newspaper that the previous government had committed the same thing by awarding an LNG contract on the basis of a single bid and the minister (Vawda) and his party were critical to the step. Now if a thing was illegal at that time how it became legal now? The journalist said this while pointing towards the awarding of Mohmand Dam hydro project contract to the Joint Venture of Pakistani company Descon and Chinese company China Gezhouba. Descon is reportedly owned by Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood.
The minister sarcastically responded that he was expecting this question from the reporter of an English newspaper. He proceeded: “I am not responsible about the things happened before my birth. At that time my government was not in place and the bidding was done and the contract was submitted, then how I or my government can be held responsible,” the minister replied.
“If you find controversy in a deal or you want to make one, it’s open and you or any other can investigate it in your own way, we wouldn’t object,” the minister added.
“But if you ask me that before the establishment of this country when I was not even born and my father was in college and you asked me to answer the question or you ask me that who has done what in the war. You can ask this question and you can answer it. You are my elder therefore I replied the question, instead if anyone else would have asked this question I would not have answer it and would have removed the mike from here and put it on the side,” he added.
Soon after the response from the minister, the journalists stood up from their seats asking the minister that he should behave as he was not addressing a Jalsa but talking in the Press Information Department (PID).
The minister kept apologising and said: “I am apologising to you, he is my elder and journalists are my friends.”
The PID officials, present on the occasion, tried to reconcile the protesting journalists but nobody listened to them and boycotted the press conference.
Later, the Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists in a statement condemned the derogatory behaviour of the minister towards the senior journalists and asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to hold the reign of his cabinet ministers.