Fawad Chaudhry did not call for governor’s rule in Sindh

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Claim: Minister Fawad Chaudhry called for the imposition of either governor’s rule of Article 148 in Sindh.

Fact: Chaudhry ruled out the possibility of the governor’s rule, calling it undemocratic, and asked the Supreme Court to enforce Article 140A in Sindh.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry addressed the media in Karachi on 13 June 2021, during a visit to Sindh. Chaudhry was highly critical of the Pakistan Peoples Party government during the press conference, accusing party leaders of stealing taxpayer money and stating that provincial ministers are puppets being controlled by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari.

After the press conference, a screenshot was shared on social media of what is apparently a Geo News bulletin at 5:50 p.m. The screenshot shows a picture of Chaudhry with text on screen claiming that he stated it is important to enforce either governor’s rule or Article 148 to “teach Sindh a lesson”. Soch Fact Check found that the screenshot is doctored.

Geo News aired the press conference live on its channel. While the minister stated that there are calls for governor’s rule in Sindh, he unequivocally ruled out the possibility. Calling the governor’s rule undemocratic, he said that there is no scope for such an action in the Constitution of Pakistan. Chaudhry then reminded the Supreme Court that its responsibility is to enforce the Constitution, stating that there is a need to enforce Article 140-A in the province. The minister did not mention Article 148.

The onscreen text seen in the screenshot cannot be found during Geo News’ live coverage of the event. Furthermore, Soch Fact Check found that there was no mention of the press conference in Geo News’ bulletins between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. either on the day of the conference or the day after.

The Constitution of Pakistan’s Article 232 allows the president to issue a Proclamation of Emergency in specific circumstances. In this situation, either the federal government or the provincial governor would assume the role of the provincial government. This is referred to as the governor’s rule. However, this rule can only be imposed after approval by either the provincial assembly or the parliament.

Article 140A of the constitution mandates the establishment of local governments in provinces, which then oversee financial and administrative matters in their respective constituencies.

Summary: A screenshot being circulated on social media claimed that, during a press conference in Karachi, Fawad Chaudhry had recommended the imposition of either governor’s rule or Article 148 in Sindh. Soch Fact Check found that the image is doctored and Chaudhry unequivocally ruled out the possibility of the governor’s rule. The minister also did not mention Article 148, while he did call for the implementation of Article 140A in the province.

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