PTI Cannot Have ‘Cricket Bat’ Symbol in New Blow From Supreme Court

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Pakistan was founded as a democracy but 77 years later, it is a fully owned and operated enterprise of the military establishment. Every civilian leader who thinks he or she will be able to take on the army always ends up learning the hard way.

On January 13, in a blow to former prime minister PTI, the Supreme Court set aside the Peshawar High Court (PHC) order that reinstated “bat” as the party’s electoral symbol for the upcoming general elections. The verdict means the PTI’s ticket holders would now have to contest the elections as independent candidates.

Announcing the verdict, Chief Justice Faez Isa asserted that the reason was because the party had not held intra-party elections and thus the court had upheld the plea of the Election Commission of Pakistan. While it is important that every political party hold these elections, it is clear that this verdict is aimed at ensuring that in the upcoming elections those who support the PTI will have only one of two options – not vote or vote for another party.

On December 22, the ECP had decided against letting PTI retain its electoral symbol for the general elections, saying that it had failed to hold intra-party polls as per its prevailing constitution and election laws. Since then, there was a battle in courts. “The PTI approached the PHC against the ECP order on Dec 26 and a single-member bench restored the party’s electoral symbol until Jan 9, directing that the case be fixed before a divisional bench. On Dec 30, the electoral watchdog filed a review application in the PHC, arguing that the court had overstepped its jurisdiction. Days later, in a major blow for the PTI, the high court withdrew the stay on the ECP order, stripping the party of its symbol again. Consequently, the PTI moved the Supreme Court against the restoration of the ECP ruling.”

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his advisers must be regretting going after Faez Isa when he was a Judge as it looks like Isa is not in a forgiving mood and neither is COAS General Asim Munir.

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Author: Nasir Saeed