Elections this year were nothing short of chaotic. The aftermath saw notices being sent by the ECP to a few select candidates as warnings against the use of ‘indecent language’. These candidates were Imran Khan, Pervez Khattak, Ayaz Sadiq, and Maulana Fazlur Rehman. What’s more, recently all have been cleared of the charges against them, which were on the account of using foul language during election campaigns.
What really happened? And most importantly – how authentic were these allegations? Quite, as it turns out. Here are some tweets we rounded up that will tell you more about what happened:
Clearly, retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza was pretty pissed about Ayaz Sadiq’s ‘auqaat’ comment. It seems he took some amount of personal satisfaction in seeing PML-N figurehead Sadiq accused of such charges.
Being the leader of PTI and soon-to-be-PM of the country, people thought it was pretty unethical of him to be talking about the opposition the way he did in his speeches. The main concern was that if Khan is doing it, it’s a given his supporters will do the same thing. And to be honest, Insafians already don’t exactly have the cleanest of tongues when addressed their opponents in debates and conversations.
A valid point – but should such potentially degrading words and phrases even be used in the first place? This is another concern: the fact that this entire affair revealed, in our political slogans, a disturbing propensity towards insulting others in order to gain political favor.
Many were of the opinion that if the derogatory language used was spoken in front of a crowd, the apology for it should also be delivered to a crowd. The apologies were in fact filmed and posted online – so perhaps that fulfills the quota?
There were, reportedly, other guilty parties who weren’t similarly asked to apologize for their behavior. Maybe there was more to the story that might justify this – nonetheless, it brought up demands that equal expectations should be held for all sides.
Imran Khan’s lawyer chose to use a basic classroom example to explain Khan’s choice of words. This was in reference to when Khan publicly announced that anyone who went to receive Nawaz Sharif at the airport before he was carted off to Adiala Jail was a ‘donkey’. Needless to say, this declaration was not warmly received by the public.
While an admirable standard to set, recent developments have proved that it may also have been an unrealistic one. The zeal and energy with which Pakistani politicians and their supporters conduct their election campaigns mean it is almost a given that some form of derogatory address will be used.
All four under question were pretty quick to submit their apologies and generous with expressions of regret. For this reason, the ECP probably also thought it was fit to clear them of the charges. However, it is too early to say whether anyone has really learned a lesson from this or not. Going by past records, probably not.