ISLAMABAD: The Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan on Friday issued contempt notices to PTI chairman Imran Khan and two other central leaders Asad Umer and Fawad Chaudhry for using ‘intemperate’ langu­age against the chief election commissioner and the ECP.

They have been asked to appear in person or through their counsel before the commission on August 30 to explain their position. The ECP has attached excerpts of the contemptuous remarks with dates and events in the notices. In one of the two notices issued to Imran Khan, it has been pointed out that on July 18 in a public address he criticised the commission for its decision to hold re-election in Daska and “getting his party defeated”.

In the same address, he had also accused the ECP of ignoring the use of police by the PPP to win local government elections in Sindh and targeted the ECP member from Sindh, saying he was drawing salary from the Sindh government and the commission simultaneously.

On July 21, Imran Khan talked about the recent by-polls in 20 provincial assembly constituencies of Punjab and said these polls besides the political parties had also been contested against the ECP and administration. He had alleged that the ECP used all tactics to get the PTI defeated. “ECP should be punished for the role they played in these elections,” he remarked.

On July 27, he said “the most shameful role had been played by the ECP, which tried to defeat us in league with PML-N and Hamza”.

“The... accusations have also been reported by the leading print and electronic media. On account of your... derogatory and contemptuous remarks and acts, you have willfully and intentionally scandalised, ridiculed, and maligned this commission and the members of the commission in order to bring the commission and its members into hatred in eyes of general public, which otherwise is an attempt to prejudice, the process of forthcoming election which constitute a clear contempt of this commission.

In another notice to Mt Khan, the commission said he used “insulting and indecent language” against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja in his rallies on July 12, 18, 21 and 27, and August 4 and 8.

In the notice to PTI secretary general Asad Umar for using intemperate, un-parliamentary language and contemptuous remarks against the Election Commission and the CEC, reference has been made to the related Pemra record on his news conferences on July 27, August 2 and 4 and August 10, aired by the media.

The remarks made on July 27, 2022 have been re-produced in the notice: “…the ECP has become extremely partial and become a party. In Pakistan’s politics, it is no more an impartial institution. Look at their three decisions made within the last week.” His remarks on August 2 when the commission had announced its judgement in the PTI foreign funding case: “In my view, if anyone had any doubt that the Election Commission has become partial. It is a political rival. Similarly, record has been obtained from Pemra regarding remarks made by PTI senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry during his news conferences on May 11, July 19 and July 20 this year. His remarks on May 11: “Imran Khan and PTI have no faith in the ECP and chief election commissioner. Imran said in a public meeting that the chief election commissioner should take a post in N-League and since the largest party has no faith in him, there was only one honourable way for him to resign.”

His remarks on July 19:…very few days are left for CEC to himself decide on bowing out or action will be initiated for this purpose…whatever little respect he enjoys…he has tried his utmost that none respects him.”

Fawad made these remarks on July 20: “there is such CEC sitting in the Election Commission, who has no shame or dignity, who with a planning sale and purchase during Senate (polls).”

The PTI leader has also been asked to appear before the commission on August 30 personally or through his counsel, along with a written reply to explain his position at 10am.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2022

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