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ECP gives ownership of PPP to PPP-P, awards 'two swords'

27 March, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday granted the ownership of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) to Pakistan People's Party-Parliamentarians (PPP-P) and allotted "two swords" as election symbol to it, with Sardar Latif Khosa as its secretary general and legal head.

The ECP announced this decision while rejecting the petition filed by Nahid Safdar Abbasi. Ghanva Bhutto from PPP (Shaheed Bhutto) was also party for the ownership of the PPP. Spokesman of the president, Farhatullah Babar announced that the PPP-P would contest the election from the Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians platform with "arrow" as its election symbol.

"However, the ownership of PPP has been secured through this vital decision to save the PPP going in to the wrong hands," Babar said, adding that could have meant difficulties for PPP-P in general elections, as any opponent could have sabotaged its election campaign.

On the other hand, Senator Safdar Abbasi, while expressing dismay over the decision, also announced his decision to file an appeal against it in the high court or Supreme Court of Pakistan after consulting legal counsel. Three groups, one led by estranged PPP leader Naheed Khan, other led by Ghanva Bhutto and one led by Sardar Latif Khosa had applied for the enlistment of PPP.

In his application, PPP-P Secretary General Sardar Latif Khosa stated that no new political party is to be registered in the name of PPP, as the party, founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, exists since the year 1967, was led by Benazir Bhutto after his death, and then by her son Bilawal Bhutto who was elected as patron-in-chief of the party after her assassination. Other offices like that of secretary general, secretary information and finance secretary were also filled through elections notified by the election body.

Dr Ghulam Hussain of Pakistan Peoples Party Shaheed Bhutto stated that he was the general secretary of the party and the work was continued under the creed of manifesto of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. "So they are the real owners of the PPP and they should be given a right of representing PPP in next general elections with sword as their election symbol," he argued.

Meanwhile, Naheed Khan also sought registration of PPP with "sword" as its election symbol. After hearing all the contestants for the PPP, the ECP had reserved its decision on Monday and decided the matter on Tuesday in favour of Sardar Latif Khosa, representing the Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamentarians.

The ECP turned down pleas of Ghanwa Bhutto and Naheed Khan. Latter's plea was dismissed for not submitting complete documents. The commission said that from the arguments of the counsel and perusal of documents, it was convinced that the PPP and the PPP-Parliamentarians were separate parties. It said that the Pakistan Peoples Party represented by Latif Khosa as its secretary general had demanded 'sword' as its election symbol.

"The symbol 'sword' was delisted from the symbols by the government and recently '2 swords' had been included in the symbols' list. The commission, therefore, allots '2 swords' to Pakistan Peoples Party," the judgement said.


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