The Ministry of Science and Technology on Saturday issued a response to allegations that federal minister Fawad Chaudhry slapped journalist Sami Ibrahim and said that the "incident" should not be treated as a "clash between two institutions but as a conflict between two individuals".
Ibrahim had reportedly filed a complaint at Mansoorabad police station in Faisalabad, accusing Chaudhry of slapping him at a wedding. A copy of the reported complaint, that is circulating on social media and was retweeted by Ibrahim, alleged that Chaudhry had slapped and cursed the journalist without any provocation. It also accused the Science and Technology minister of threatening Ibrahim.
The statement issued by the ministry today said that Chaudhry had "reacted after another person tried to wound his self-esteem". The response does not state the nature of the minister's reaction.
"To term a patriotic Pakistani and government office holder as an agent of [enemy agencies] is contrary to moral and journalistic ethics," the statement said.
"Along with protesting against [Chaudhry's] actions, [people must] also ask Sami Ibrahim why he trampled over a patriotic Pakistani's self esteem," it added.
The rift between Chaudhry and Ibrahim came to light earlier this month, when the minister unleashed a Twitter tirade against the journalist for accusing him of plotting against the ruling party. Ibrahim responded to Chaudhry's remarks in a television programme on Bol TV and accused him of using state vehicles for personal purposes during his tenure as information minister.