ECP clears Imran, Ayaz, Khattak, Fazl of charges

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Imran asked to submit signed statement

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

A four member bench of the Election Commission of Pakistan headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza on Thursday dropped the charges against Imran Khan, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Pervez Khattak for using indecent language during their election campaigns. The commission however warned the politicians not to use foul language in the future. The National Assembly speaker Sadiq and former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Khattak and JUI Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had tendered their separate apologies to the ECP for using indecent language while campaigning.
Lawyer Kamran Murtaza, who was representing Sadiq, submitted an apology on behalf of the ex-NA speaker.
A clip was also played of the PML-N leader allegedly using derogatory language against political opponents.
Meanwhile, Khattak appeared before the ECP himself to face the charges. A video clip showing Khattak apologising over his remarks was also played.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, who was served a notice after he termed those going to welcome former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on his arrival from London “donkeys”, had submitted an apology last month. Khan’s counsel Babar Awan had then argued before the commission that donkey was a “common word that was used by teachers for their students”.
Accepting the apologies submitted by the political leaders, the ECP rescinded the suo motu notices taken against them. Awan also submitted a written statement on behalf of Khan in case pertaining to the violation of secrecy of ballot.
After initially reserving its verdict, the ECP bench rejected the written statement submitted by Awan as it did not have Khan’s signature on it. The commission directed the counsel to submit the response signed by the PTI chief. The hearing of the case was adjourned till today.

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