PTI to petition Peshawar High Court for regaining 'bat' electoral symbol

By
Abubakar Saddiq
A PTI supporter holds the partys flags in this AFP file image.
A PTI supporter holds the party's flags in this AFP file image.

  • PTI hopes high court will take up petition tomorrow.
  • Spokesperson slams election commission's decision.
  • Part's 'bat' symbol was taken back last week.


PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Monday announced petitioning the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in a bid to regain the party’s iconic ‘bat’ symbol.

The PTI is likely to play its election innings without the symbol as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had last week termed its intra-party polls “unconstitutional” and revoked its claim on the electoral symbol.

Although it was unclear which court’s door would the party be knocking on as it races against time with the election programme already underway, PTI central spokesperson Moazzam Butt told Geo News the PHC would be moved tomorrow (Tuesday) and the petition’s ready.

“We will try our best to ensure that our petition’s taken up for a hearing tomorrow. We will be appealing to the court to nullify the election commission’s decision and term it illegal,” the spokesperson said.

The central spokesperson added that the election commission issued its directions on a petition of an “irrelevant person” — a reference to PTI ex-member Akbar S Babar.

In the wake of PTI’s intra-party elections, held on December 2, Babar refused to accept the polls and moved the electoral authority against the irregularities.

Following ECP’s verdict that the polls were not in line with the rules, the party not only had its symbol taken away, but it was also left without a chairman — as Barrister Gohar Khan’s polls election was declared illegal.

Talking about the decision last week, now-former chairman Gohar had lambasted the ECP for stripping the party of its bat symbol but hoped that the courts would back the PTI’s plea for its restoration.

"[PTI’s] electoral symbol will be restored,” hoped Gohar, who is also a lawyer by profession.

Political analyst Mazhar Abbas had told Geo.tv that the election commission has “never” declared any political party’s internal polls unlawful, noting that it seems like the PTI is “under attack”.

This is not the only pressing matter for the PTI. Its former chairman, Imran Khan, is behind bars and he is the main driving force behind the party’s votes.

Although he was granted bail in a cipher-related case last week by the Supreme Court, the PTI founder was arrested in two other cases before that and his release remains uncertain.

Moreover, since he was convicted in a corruption case, he has been barred from contesting elections for a period of five years. His sentence is suspended, but isn’t overturned so far.