Islamabad: Pakistan’s Election Commission on Thursday barred Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan from using unseemly language for his political rivals during election campaigning.

The cricketer-turned-politician’s counsel initially seemed to defend the practice but eventually relented, assuring the poll body that his client would abide by its instructions, Dawn online reported.

A day before the return of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz to Pakistan on July 12 to serve jail sentences awarded to them in a corruption case, Khan had said that whoever goes to receive the Sharifs at the airport “must be a donkey”.

The remarks were not well received among the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) cadre and even polarised the next Senate session, where barbs were exchanged between the two parties’ members.

The poll body had taken notice of Khan’s incendiary choice of words and directed him to appear before the commission on Thursday. Khan did not appear but his lawyer and PTI leader Babar Awan attended the hearing on his behalf.

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

The body adjourned the hearing beyond the July 25 general elections and said it will now monitor Khan’s speeches to make sure he adheres to the code of conduct.