In a striking move during the kickoff of its election campaign in Okara, PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz slammed an unnamed “terrorist party” for being ineligible for an electoral symbol, alluding to recent developments involving the PTI. Meanwhile, the PML-N prepares to unveil its manifesto for the upcoming February 8 general elections after months of meticulous planning by over 30 sub-committees.

Addressing party supporters, Maryam Nawaz took a swipe at the unnamed party, stating, “Sher [lion] can be allotted sher, but a terrorist party cannot be allotted an election symbol like other political parties.” This comment comes in the wake of the PTI losing its iconic ‘bat’ symbol, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court after the Election Commission of Pakistan’s declaration of the party’s intra-party polls as “unconstitutional.”


As a result of the controversy, PTI members will now run as independent candidates with various electoral symbols, forfeiting the right to reserved seats for women and minorities. The PTI had filed a contempt plea against the Election Commission, alleging a lack of implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders to ensure a fair electoral process. However, the party withdrew the plea, expressing disillusionment with the system.

During the court proceedings, PTI leader Latif Khosa argued for a level playing field, comparing the restoration of the Awami National Party’s electoral symbol without intra-party polls to the PTI’s situation. Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa emphasized the importance of documentary evidence and urged the PTI to abide by the law.

As the PTI faces challenges in the legal arena, Khosa lamented outside the court, calling the verdict a “black day for democracy” and accusing the judiciary of undermining the democratic process. He highlighted incidents of arrests and snatched nomination papers, emphasizing the party’s commitment to democracy.

The dispute surrounding the PTI’s electoral symbol continues, raising questions about the fairness of the electoral process and setting the stage for a heated political battle as the general elections approach on February, 8, 2024.


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