Pakistan EC warns Imran Khan against using 'inappropriate language' amid row over 'donkey' remark for Nawaz Sharif's supporters

Islamabad: Pakistan's Election Commission on Thursday warned Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan against using "inappropriate language" for his political rivals, days after he kicked up a political storm following his "donkey" remark for the supporters of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

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

 Pakistan EC warns Imran Khan against using inappropriate language amid row over donkey remark for Nawaz Sharifs supporters

Imran Khan, chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party during an election rally. AP

The remarks did not go down well with the PML-N cadre and even polarised the next Senate session, where barbs were exchanged between the two parties' members.

"The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) barred Khan from using unseemly language for his political rivals during election campaigning," Dawn News reported. The ECP had taken notice of Khan's incendiary choice of words and directed him to appear before the commission on Thursday.

Khan did not appear before the ECP but his lawyer and PTI leader Babar Awan was at the hearing on his behalf.

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

Awan initially seemed to defend the practice but eventually relented, assuring the poll body that his client would abide by its instructions.

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

Awan submitted a written statement on behalf of the party chairman to abide by the Election Commission's orders.

The commission adjourned the hearing until after the 25 July general elections. It said the ECP will monitor Khan's speeches to make sure he adheres to the code of conduct.

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Updated Date: Jul 20, 2018 07:37:57 IST