ECP bars Imran Khan from using inappropriate language during campaigning

Published July 19, 2018
The counsel of Imran Khan assures election body that the PTI chief will abide by its orders. —AFP
The counsel of Imran Khan assures election body that the PTI chief will abide by its orders. —AFP

The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday barred Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan from using unseemly language for his political rivals during election campaigning — a practice that Khan's counsel initially seemed to defend but eventually relented, assuring the election body that his client would abide by its instructions.

On July 12, the eve of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz's return to Pakistan to surrender themselves to the authorities, Khan had said that whoever goes to receive the Sharifs at the airport "must be a donkey".

As expected, the remarks were not well received among the PML-N cadre and even polarised the next Senate session, where barbs were exchanged between the two parties' members.

The ECP had taken notice of Khan's incendiary choice of words and directed him to appear before the commission today. Khan did not appear before the ECP but his lawyer and PTI leader Babar Awan was at the hearing on his behalf.

When told by the commission that Khan had used an inappropriate word for the workers of a party, Awan defended the word's usage, saying: "Donkey is an ordinary word; even teachers use that word here."

"Teachers have a different standing," a four-member commission, led by the ECP's Sindh member Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, replied. "When major leaders use such language, it doesn't send a good impression [of Pakistan] to the world."

At this, the counsel countered that Khan gets called worse things. "Words such as Taliban Khan and Yahoodi are being used," said Awan, who also played a video of PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq in the court.

"You stick to the notice issued to you; others are also being sent notices," Awan was told.

The ECP then forbade Khan from using unseemly language during his campaigning, to which Awan agreed and also submitted a written statement on behalf of the PTI chairman to abide by the ECP's orders.

The commission adjourned the case's hearing until after the July 25 general elections, during which time the ECP will monitor Khan's speeches to make sure he adheres to the code of conduct.

Opinion

Editorial

Ties with Tehran
Updated 24 Apr, 2024

Ties with Tehran

Tomorrow, if ties between Washington and Beijing nosedive, and the US asks Pakistan to reconsider CPEC, will we comply?
Working together
24 Apr, 2024

Working together

PAKISTAN’S democracy seems adrift, and no one understands this better than our politicians. The system has gone...
Farmers’ anxiety
24 Apr, 2024

Farmers’ anxiety

WHEAT prices in Punjab have plummeted far below the minimum support price owing to a bumper harvest, reckless...
By-election trends
Updated 23 Apr, 2024

By-election trends

Unless the culture of violence and rigging is rooted out, the credibility of the electoral process in Pakistan will continue to remain under a cloud.
Privatising PIA
23 Apr, 2024

Privatising PIA

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s reaffirmation that the process of disinvestment of the loss-making national...
Suffering in captivity
23 Apr, 2024

Suffering in captivity

YET another animal — a lioness — is critically ill at the Karachi Zoo. The feline, emaciated and barely able to...