KARACHI: An interesting situation has emerged in Karachi before the polls as many political leaders have been allotted symbols besides those of their political parties.
Some of the leaders had filed nomination papers for multiple constituencies. However, their respective parties did not allot tickets to them for every constituency they had filed for. The leaders could not withdraw their nominations from those constituencies where they did not get ticket and, hence, they were allotted random symbols such as bed, lock and butterfly.
There are also a few aspiring candidates who failed to secure tickets of their parties and also did not withdraw their nomination papers. They are now in the electoral fray with random but strange symbols. Such leaders include a worker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement - Pakistan (MQM-P), Rehan Mansoor, and its suspended deputy convener Kamran Tessori. They are candidates in multiple constituencies from where they will be contesting elections on various symbols.
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Tessori filed nomination papers for NA-243, NA-255, PS-96, PS-104 and PS-127 but was not given MQM-P ticket for any one of them. As a result, he has been allotted the symbol of apple in one of the constituencies, while in the rest of the constituencies, he will be contesting on the symbol of lock. Similarly, Mansoor, who filed his papers for NA-256, PS-97, PS-98, PS-129 and PS-130, has been allotted the symbol of tank in two constituencies and the symbols of eye, air conditioner and bottle in the others .
Former opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hasan had filed nomination papers for PS-125, NA-243 and NA-253. The MQM-P later decided to award him ticket for PS-125 only and he also failed to withdraw his nomination from the National Assembly (NA) constituencies. Now he can only appeal to the voters to vote for his party candidates, not him, in the NA constituencies as he cannot have his name removed from the ballot paper. He has been allotted the symbol of bed in one of the constituencies and the symbol of medal in the other.
Kishwar Zehra is contesting on the MQM-P ticket, kite, from NA-242 but from a provincial constituency, PS-125, she has been allotted butterfly. Former senator Nasreen Jalil was not given MQM-P ticket for any constituency. However, her name is still on list of contesting candidates from NA-247 as an independent candidate whose symbol is a butterfly.
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Similarly, butterfly has also been allotted to a two-time MQM MNA, Abdul Waseem, who failed to withdraw his papers when the party decided not to award him ticket. He is now contesting as an independent candidate from NA-253.
Another such MQM-P leader is Muhammad Salman Khan Baloch who filed nomination papers for NA-249 and PS-115. The party, however, did not award him ticket and he has been allotted the symbols of lock and helmet in the two constituencies. Likewise, former MPA Kamran Akhtar could not secure MQM-P ticket for PS-115 and he will be contesting the polls on the symbol of rubab (a musical instrument).
Former Karachi commissioner and MQM-P's arrested leader Muhammad Javed Hanif was awarded ticket by the party for PS-95 but he is also contesting from NA-255 as an independent candidate.
Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leader Iftikhar Alam is contesting from PS-126 on the PSP ticket on the party symbol, dolphin. However, his symbol is an air conditioner in PS-124 where he is recognised as an independent candidate.