Pakistan’s supreme court has rejected an attempt by the party of the former prime minister Imran Khan to retain its traditional electoral symbol of a cricket bat, in the latest setback for the jailed leader before a general election.
Khan’s party, at odds with powerful army generals, has been grappling with a military-backed crackdown that has gathered pace before the vote due on 8 February. The party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), alleges the military is attempting to keep it out of the election race, a charge the army denies.
A party’s electoral symbol on ballot papers is significant for voters to be able to identify its candidates in the country where the majority of the constituencies are in rural areas with low literacy.
On Saturday, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa announced the ruling in a live late-night telecast of the proceedings on the top court’s website.