Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s Take on PTI’s Electoral Symbol

The recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) revocation of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI's) chosen electoral symbol has raised deep concern for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). This  concern was shared on HRCP's Twitter page [@HRCP87].

In 1988, the court made a ruling in response to a petition by Benazir Bhutto. The ruling stated that any violation of a political party's fundamental rights was also a violation of the rights of the citizens it represented. This was particularly important because it involved the protection of freedom of association, as guaranteed under Article 17.

The HRCP's statement emphasises the negative impact of denying a political party its electoral symbol, as it hinders their ability to freely participate in elections and effectively marginalises their voters. The statement highlights the significance of electoral symbols in enabling voters to recognise and select their representatives.

The HRCP emphasises the importance of freely associating with and participating in the electoral process as a cornerstone of democracy. Any violation of this right is seen as a potential threat to democratic principles. The HRCP emphasises the importance of conducting a comprehensive examination of the decision and highlights the necessity of safeguarding the rights of political parties within a just and transparent electoral system.

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