ISLAMABAD -  The election commission is considering the option of disallowing the candidates using inappropriate language in the political campaigns from holding public gatherings.

The poll body is set to take up the matter in its meeting scheduled earlier next week. Reportedly, it is mulling over instructing the district administrations concerned to stop the candidates from holding public processions and other forms of political gatherings in case they were found using foul language against the rival candidates.

Seeing clear defiance of the poll authority’s instructions issued just a day earlier on banning the candidates from levelling personal allegations against one another, the electoral body on Saturday again took notice of Imran Khan’s ongoing diatribe against the Sharif brothers.

“Below the belt statements are simply unacceptable,” said Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim while confirming to this correspondent on having taken notice of Khan’s statement he made in a public procession in Bahawalpur on Saturday against the Sharifs.

“Political differences aside, politicians are required to show respect for each other,” the CEC stated adding that the use of foul language in the political campaigns was giving a bad name to the politicians as well as the entire country.

“This gives a very wrong expression to the outside world. Not to forget that we’re preparing for a historic election that marks the continuity and strengthening of the democratic process in Pakistan. The international community, the foreign observers and the social sector, everybody has laid their eyes on us. We have to behave in a dignified manner so as to make a good impression of ourselves,” he said.

The election commission, the CEC said, was receiving complaints for several days about the candidates’ using unruly language in the political campaigns. “We can’t stand silent and watch the drama going on, like a bystander. Something needs to be done. We have to get tough on anyone violating the Code of Conduct for the elections,” he said.

Confirming that the matter would be taken up expectedly in the Monday (or Tuesday) meeting, Ebrhaim did not share further details. “We’re going to discuss this issue on Monday or Tuesday probably. We’ll find a suitable way for dealing with those who aren’t following the instructions and showing disregard to the Code of Conduct.,” he said.

Asked if the meeting was being held on Khan’s apparently grim criticism against Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, the former Supreme Court judge, without offering a direct answer, stated, “Anybody who would cross the redline shall face the music.”

With war of words intensifying between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaderships with each passing day ahead of the May 11, both the sides have apparently resorted to personal attacks on one another following the exchange of accusations and counter-accusations on a regular basis.

Despite being considered mainstream political parties, the two sides have used the kind of expressions and phrases to ridicule each other that are generally not expected of the leaders particularly those who claim to be public representatives.

Earlier on Friday, the ECP had asked the general polls contestants to refrain from “casting aspersion on the person of their opponents, which is a violation of the Code of Conduct.”

An extract of the provision 17 of the ECP Code of Conduct says, “Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of any aspect of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties.”

On Wednesday, the presidency had moved the ECP with the complaint to have ‘negative’ propaganda against the president stopped.