The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) formally applied to the Election Commission of Pakistan last year in a bid to reserve Tarazoo (scale) as party symbol for the upcoming general elections. After hearing arguments from both sides, the commission reserved judgment on Friday.
Analysts say the PTI is likely to lose the legal battle to JI for the symbol. JI lawyers came prepared with convincing arguments centered on file date and historical context.
The JI filed their application on April 16, 2012, while the PTI filed later in June. Therefore, lawyers said the JI should be given preference. Furthermore, the symbol has been allotted to Jamaat-e-Islami in the past. When the JI took part in the 1970 general elections following the separation of East Pakistan, scale was its symbol. Even later, the JI contested polls as a part of an alliance of religious parties (like the MMA in 2002).
The JI lawyers also mentioned that scale was taken out of the list of election symbols in the 80’s by military ruler General Ziaul Haq.
Alternatively, the PTI lawyers said scale is a symbolic depiction of the party’s name, which means “movement for justice”. They added that the PTI had previously taken part in an election in Gilgit-Baltistan using this symbol. However, as Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have their own electoral system and do not fall under the ECP, sources say this point will hold no weight.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2013.
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