By Muhammad Luqman
Left leaning Pakistan Peoples’ Party will contest the upcoming general elections with the symbol of the sword after more than 40 years.
PPP was deprived of this symbol after its Zulifkar Ali Bhutto led government was overthrown by the military dictator General Ziaul Haque in July 1977 and it was removed from the list of the election symbols by then Election Commission.
“PPP was formed in 1967. It fought the elections of 1970 and 1977 with the symbol of the sword. However, after the martial law in 1977 the symbol was removed,” PPP senior leader Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said.
After being barred from using the symbol of the sword, the party had eventually taken up the symbol of the arrow, which it is more commonly associated with.
Pakistan People’s Party has ruled the South Asian country four times in 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and lately from 2008 -13.
Other major political parties of Pakistan have also been allotted the electoral symbols of their own choice for the nationwide elections for the national and provincial assemblies scheduled for July 25 next.
The Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, who presided over the process of allotting parties and candidates their symbols, remarked that political parties are eligible for all those electoral symbols over which there is no dispute.
During the process, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was allotted the symbol of tiger , Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf allotted bat, Jamaat-e-Islami given scale, PPP Parliamentarians allotted arrow, while Awami National Party and Awami Muslim League received lantern, and pen and inkpot respectively.
The leaders of both factions of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, PIB’s Farooq Sattar and Bahadurabad’s Amir Khan, also appeared before the ECP.
Amir Khan remarked that the electoral symbol of the kite should be allotted to MQM, adding that the difference between two factions has nothing to do with the electoral symbol.
“In our view, there is no dispute in Muttahida Qaumi Movement,” said Cheif Election Commission and allotted the party its desired symbol.