Pak court restores Imran Khan Party’s electoral symbol ‘bat’

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Peshawar [Pakistan], December 26: In a major legal victory for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Peshawar High Court (PHC) restored its election symbol ‘bat’ by suspending the order of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which had called its intra-party polls “illegal,” news agencies reported on Tuesday.
The court said that the party’s election symbol will be restored in a final decision on the petition, adding that a double bench will hear the matter after winter vacations.
Earlier, Peshawar High Court’s Justice Kamran Hayat Miankhel remarked that the ECP would have to allot the electoral symbol to PTI as it can’t be revoked after the issuance of the election schedule.
Reacting to the verdict, Imran Khan’s party PTI posted on X (formerly Twitter), “Hit the bat, embrace freedom!”
The party founded by former Prime Minister Imran Khan filed the petition after a five-member ECP bench — headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja — declared PTI’s intra-party elections unlawful and stripped the party of its symbol.
The party named the ECP and those who challenged the elections as respondents, requesting the court for an urgent hearing of the matter, after which the court took up the plea on Tuesday.
At the outset of the hearing, PTI lawyer Ali Zafar said the party was given 20 days to hold elections and it held internal party elections on December 3 in Peshawar. The ECP admitted the veracity of the intra-party elections and issued a certificate to the party.
The PTI counsel said that after this, the ECP withdrew the electoral symbol, saying the one who conducted the elections was not the right person. Hence, it “invalidated the elections, raising objections to the election commissioner.”
Notably, PTI lost its electoral symbol ‘bat’ after ECP announced the verdict on its intra-party elections on December 22.
The electoral body had earlier reserved its verdict on pleas challenging the party’s intra-party elections after hearing arguments.
Announcing the verdict, a five-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, declared the PTI’s intra-party elections null and void.
Following the ECP verdict, the newly elected PTI chairman, Gohar Ali Khan, no longer remains the party’s head.
Prominent among those who filed applications against the PTI intra-party polls were Akbar S. Babar, Raja Tahir Nawaz, and Naureen Farooq.

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