PML-N wants ‘cat’ removed as election symbol

Published: April 14, 2012
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PML-N complained that thousands of its voters stamped their impressions on the ‘cat’ owing to its resemblance to the ‘tiger’ in the recent by-elections in Vehari where PPP's Natasha Daultana won.

PML-N complained that thousands of its voters stamped their impressions on the ‘cat’ owing to its resemblance to the ‘tiger’ in the recent by-elections in Vehari where PPP's Natasha Daultana won.

ISLAMABAD: 

The tigers in Pakistan, it seems, face an unusual threat – cats. 

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) not to allocate the ‘cat’ as an election symbol to any political party/candidate due to its resemblance to the party’s own tiger emblem.

PML-N secretary general Iqbal Zafar Jhagra submitted an application to the ECP which says: “It is requested that any symbol that is similar to our ‘Tiger’ symbol and has the potential to confuse voters should not be allocated to any other political party/candidate.”

“In the recent polls in Vehari, where a candidate was allocated the ‘cat’ as a symbol, it resulted in the loss of thousands of our votes,” it added.

Jhagra told The Express Tribune that in order to ensure the sanctity of the polls, any animal symbol that has potential of creating confusion should be removed from the symbol list altogether.

PML-N complained that thousands of its voters stamped their impressions on the ‘cat’ owing to its resemblance to the ‘tiger’ in the recent by-elections in Vehari where Pakistan Peoples Party’s Natasha Daultana won. The ‘cat’ symbol was allocated to an independent candidate in the said constituency.

PML-N has also requested the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan to entertain its application to ensure the allocation of symbols to political parties/candidates is done keeping in mind the legal and socio-political issues highlighted herein. “The allocation of similar-looking election symbols to competing candidates within a constituency defies the spirit of election laws and has a detrimental effect on the overall democratic process.”

PML-N justified its concerns, saying that the national literacy rate is 55 per cent and even less among the elderly and rural population. Thus, the effect of confusing symbols is even more pronounced as a significant ratio of the voters cannot read the names of candidates on the ballot papers.

The ECP is likely to entertain the request as the very purpose of having election symbols is to facilitate voters who are unable to read.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Ali
    Apr 14, 2012 - 7:46AM

    PML-N justified its concerns, saying that the national literacy rate is 55 per cent and even less among the elderly and rural population.

    Acha jee, and you having been in power for the last 30 years should have fixed that but nope you decided to give laptops to the people who barely have electricity and can’t afford internet.

    This election time only one symbol will be stamped, the Tarazu of PTI.

    Recommend

  • Jawad Jutt
    Apr 14, 2012 - 9:47AM

    @Ali: You said PMLN is in power for the last thirty years. From where did you got these statistics???. The only time when PMLN really got in power at federal level was after the 1997 elections and thanks to Musharraf Uncle they send them to home in just two years in 1999.

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  • popsaeed
    Apr 14, 2012 - 10:03AM

    @Ali:

    You got very little information PML-N in power ony 5 year in fedreal out of 30.

    So you want laptop is a right only rich people no sir every citizen of pakistan got the right of laptop and punjab governmnet provided that.

    What imran do for improvement of public in musharaf tenure
    and mind it out of 30 year imran is a part of musharaf government which prevails around 8 year

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  • Iram
    Apr 14, 2012 - 10:45AM

    @Ali: Well said Ali.

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  • Funny
    Apr 14, 2012 - 11:05AM

    Similarly, PTI has been in power for the last 13 years, Mushi choose his ministers and advisers from PTI, such as Abdul Sattar, Avais Ghani, Sherin Mazari and Sarfraz.

    Recommend

  • Apr 14, 2012 - 11:28AM

    Regarding Ali’s comment of 30 years, PMLN had federal govt. twice and Punjab govt 5 times in the last 30 years. So yeah, they could have fixed this 55% illiteracy problem at least in Punjab where they have majority of their voters.

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  • Ali Tipu
    Apr 14, 2012 - 12:45PM

    hahaha Funny to see people comparing IK’s efforts with that of Mian brothers. IK had never been in power, heck he isnt in the parliament. On the contrary, PML(N) has been in power for the last 30 years, two times in federal with 2/3 majority, 3 times in Punjab. All they did was bribing the people, in media, government,civil society, journalists and now students. Speaking of education, what happened to that case when Gujranwala board issued wrong results which claimed the lives of a few youngsters who chose to commit suicide due to the ineligibility of Zalim-e-Ala Punjab?

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  • Apr 14, 2012 - 12:50PM

    Party Election Symbols

    The animal images or any other symbol which creates a bias should not be allowed as election symbol. The symbols issued should be neutral in itself and they must not be suggestive in any way. Therefore ECP should reconsider all symbols issued to Political Parties. There should also be strict criteria of how the symbols are used. Just for example the lion symbol issued to PML-N suggest power and strength and its party candidates very often bring real lions in their public gathering which has entertainment values, similar is the case of the symbols and usage of Arrow (PPP) , Kite (MQM) etc

    Party Names
    Another issue of similar importance is the name of parties. No party should be allowed to use personal names in their party names as it is the case of different PML factions , as a political party is not anybodies property. Example PML-N is not a property of Nawaz Sharif and political parties should be democratic in itself. Another example, in PML-Q , Q means Quaid-e-Azam , so they should not be allowed to use the Quaid-e-Azam name for their own agenda. Therefore all PML factions should be to asked review and change their names.

    I humbly request The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) , to take the above issues in consideration and if they agree , take appropriate action

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  • apj
    Apr 14, 2012 - 12:56PM

    N-league has had Punjab for a long time. Only if they had worked rather than feasted and partied. Mr. Ali is very much right.

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  • awais
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:12PM

    lol .. i can understand if a few voters stamp the cat by mistake, but if thousands of voters stamped a cat instead of a tiger according to PML-n then there must be something wrong with their supporters

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  • shoaib mir
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:25PM

    PML-N is correct by half or one might say by default. In fact, it’s the Tiger symbol that may be withdrawn altogether as characteristics of courage and bravery are sadly missing from their political history given the muaafi-nama they inked with a dictator and their ideological alignment with another even after his death. Instead they deserve the Cat symbol more than any other party given the domestic traits of timidity that this pet animal is known for. And btw according to their own admission voters are now used to stamping this latter symbol. People, in the end, may be right after all.Recommend

  • Asfand Khan
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:35PM

    Ali your absolutely right. PML N has ruled Punjab majority of the 30 years. So my friends who support pML N please go and check where you get your information.

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  • Shoaib Mir
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:36PM

    PML-N is correct by half or might one say by default. In fact, it’s the Tiger symbol that may be withdrawn altogether as characteristics of courage and bravery are sadly missing from their political history given the muaafi-nama they inked with a dictator and their ideological alignment with another even after his death. Instead they deserve the Cat symbol more than any other party given the domestic traits of timidity that this pet animal is known for. And btw according to their own admission voters are now used to stamping this latter symbol. People, in the end, may be right after all. Serves them right.Recommend

  • let there be peace
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:49PM

    That tiger is trademark Shiv-Sena symbol.

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  • GH
    Apr 14, 2012 - 2:47PM

    Tiger is afraid of Cat hahaha!

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  • DevilHunterX
    Apr 14, 2012 - 4:14PM

    Democracy thrives on illiteracy and stupidity.

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  • Aquarian
    Apr 14, 2012 - 5:08PM

    @Jawad Jutt: Nawaz has been in Power since 1985 … when his Dady GENERAL Jilani brought him in power. He was so strong in that era that he didnt even care for Fed Govt. by that time.
    Jag Punjabi Jag & BOP are fruits of his GOLDEN ERA.

    Recommend

  • Frank Observer
    Apr 14, 2012 - 5:22PM

    It won’t make any difference what they use as election symbol the people of Pakistan have made their minds up and will reject all statusquo parties in the next general election including MQM, PPP, PML-N and JUF . If that doesn’t happen, then the people of Pakistan only have themeselves to blame for the mess in the country. Come on guys, it’s PTI’s turn now. Bring Imran Khan into power and see what he can do. You have tried everyone but him. Give him a chance. It’s a no lose situation if you bring him into power. Surely, he can’t be as bad as all his predecessors. Imran Khan and PTI all the way. Wake up people before its too late.

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  • Chenab
    Apr 14, 2012 - 6:32PM

    So Tiger is the actual secret of PML-N..

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  • CH. NAVEED
    Apr 14, 2012 - 7:18PM

    @Frank Observer
    bro u said “statusquo” now .yaar plz answermy one question if u can..dear what is status quo ? Is army not part of a status quo. If yes then why imran khan has not said a single word against Army . In my opinion Army is biggest symbol of status quo. Remember Army had issued NRO . and it was not nawaz who issued NRO and moreover your beloved Gen. kiyani was D.G ISI at that time and he negotiated with B.B on NRO. So dear Imran khan should demand his resignation first on NRO issue before talking against Status que if he has the dare to do it. But i dont thing that imran can speak a word against Army becoz he is hoping to come in power with the help of ISI. more over why imran had not said anything aganst Army on abotabad issue???? . One more thing it was Shabaz sharif who challenged NRO in supreme court instead of imran. please reply.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani first
    Apr 14, 2012 - 8:57PM

    @CH. NAVEED:
    Just because you did not hear him say it does not mean he did not say it. Watch any talk show with IK in it, he clearly mentions that army should be under the command of the civilian government.But I guess the ignorant will remain ignorant.

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  • SALAR
    Apr 14, 2012 - 9:13PM

    1- According to my point o view, PML N should change their election symbol. Because in ISLAM this sort of symbols are restricted.

    2- PML-N is a good and Patriotic Party but some sort of improvment required from their side.

    Regards,

    ARQRecommend

  • Abdul Qayyum Bhatti
    Apr 14, 2012 - 10:16PM

    Funny excuse!

    But still agree with PML(N)’s rhetoric that there should be no chance for potential ambiguity to voters.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 14, 2012 - 10:46PM

    Its a reasonable demand. These two symbols are confusing but PTI should not worry. This is not their problem. To save from such cofusion, Imran will boycott elections before Ballot papers are printed.

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  • gujranwala789
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:17AM

    One must not forget that according to Biology Tigers are also cats , they are just too big in size. So PMLN has a legitimate concern over the confusion arising from domestic cat being given as an election symbol to some other candidate.

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  • Apr 15, 2012 - 12:34AM

    My suggestion to the Election Commission in this context is that instead of allotting a symbol like tiger, cat or some other symbol to a registered political party ticket holder, the Election Commission should print on ballot papers the front pose pictures of all head of individual political party in which both the ears are visible.

    To quote examples:

    Ticket holders of PTI should have the picture of Mr. Imran Khan on his or her ballot paper.

    PML(N) ticket holders should have the picture of Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.

    PPP Ticket holders should have the picture of Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

    PML(Q) ticket holders should have the picture of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

    JUI ticket holders should have the picture of Maulana Fazalur Rehman..

    MQM (A) ticket holders should have the picture of Mr. Altaf Hussain.

    APML ticket holder should have the picture of General (R) Pervez Musharraf.

    Awami Muslim League ticket holder should have the picture of Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and the list should go on in the similar manner.

    This will be a much easier way to handle the problem, as every voter can easily identity the picture of any head of a political party.

    Independent candidates should have their own pictures on ballot papers.

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  • Born Political
    Apr 15, 2012 - 1:17AM

    @Ch.Allah Daad. Well said :) IK has been often giving hints that elections cant be fair with zardari rule.

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  • Jawad Jutt
    Apr 15, 2012 - 7:53AM

    @Aquarian: he was right that time. And now So called Patriotism is going to destroy the region of Punjab and PMLN as well. PPP is working for Sindhis and Seraikis, Anp for KPK, Hazara tehreek for Hazara, MQM for Muhajrs of Karachi and if someone talks about Punjab then he is a Traitor?? Punjabis need recognition as well and there is nothing wrong if someone give us recognition. I have a question that does Patriotism demands that Punjabi identity be Destroyed??? Are Punjabis are un Patriotic that their identity have to be destroyed to protect Pakistan. If some Pakhtoon speaks Puhsto then he is a Proud Pakistani and when Some Punjabi Speaks Punjabi then he is a traitor???????.
    Stop this non sense. I am a Pakistani but stop harassing my People and my ethnicity on the basis of Pakistan and stop this lingual and cultural genocide against me and my people. Punjabis are Pakistanis too. I am a Punjabi and a Pakistani and Pakistan have to give my language and my culture a respect which i deserve and stop telling me that I have no right to claim my rights as this lands is only for Pakhtoons.Balochis, Seraikis, Pakistanis and Sindhis while Punjabis are the only Traitors of this land.
    Pakistan Zindabad
    My identity like all other identities which is Punjabi Zindabad too.

    Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:57AM

    adopting the cat as symbol was well planned strategy, wonder who came up with the idea:)

    Recommend

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