PTI’s Plan B Falters As PTI Nazriati Denies Issuing Election Tickets
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) asserted on Saturday that its splinter group, Tehreek-i-Insaf Nazriati, has breached an agreement allowing PTI leaders to participate in elections using the latter’s electoral symbol. In a post on X, PTI’s official account urged anyone holding PTI-Nazriati tickets to promptly submit them and address any obstacles to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and high courts.
جن افراد کے پاس ”تحریک انصاف نظریاتی “کے ٹکٹ ہیں وہ فوری طور پر جمع کروا دیں
اور کسی قسم کی رکاوٹ پر شکایات الیکشن کمیشن اور ہائی کورٹ میں لے کر جائیں pic.twitter.com/TyCcLARHTI
— PTI (@PTIofficial) January 13, 2024
This directive coincided with the Supreme Court hearing the ECP’s petition challenging the Peshawar High Court’s decision to reinstate the PTI’s electoral symbol, the “bat”. However, PTI-N chief Akhtar Iqbal Dar objected to PTI candidates presenting PTI Nazriati tickets to returning officers, claiming surprise at the move and asserting that PTI Nazriati tickets were issued by himself. Dar further stated that he could not comprehend the drafting of the tickets and why, adding that the tickets bore the symbol of a batsman.
PTI’s Raoof Hasan countered Dar’s claims, contending that Dar’s press conference resembled those of former party leaders before departing from the PTI. Hasan alleged that Akhtar Iqbal Dar had already signed a contract with them, supported by his signatures on a memorandum of understanding and all the tickets. Despite this, Dar held a press conference and made false claims, implying pressure on him, Hasan added.
Shoaib Shaheen, a PTI leader, submitted a plea to the ECP, requesting acceptance of PTI Nazriati tickets awarded to candidates. The plea highlighted difficulties faced by PTI candidates in submitting these tickets to returning officers and urged the ECP to instruct respective ROs accordingly.
The ECP issued a warning to returning officers, stating that attempts were being made to deceive the commission through such requests. The ECP emphasized its strict order against allocating a party’s electoral symbol to another party’s candidate and reiterated that a candidate could not represent two political parties simultaneously.
Amidst the uncertainty of losing its iconic symbol, the PTI had devised a Plan B, collaborating with its splinter PTI-Nazriati group to use the ‘batsman’ symbol. This decision aimed to counter potential confusion among voters if the ECP granted separate symbols to each party candidate. The PTI leadership believed that the “bat” and “batsman” symbols were similar, making it easier for voters to identify with the PTI.