ISLAMABAD: The Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), a breakaway faction of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, claimed before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday that its flag was different from the national flag.
But the party’s counsel could not satisfy the commission as to why people brought Pakistani flags, instead of the party colours, in events organised by it.
PSP’s counsel Mubinuddin Qazi told the ECP during a hearing of two different petitions objecting to the party’s name and use of the national flag that the party flag was without a crescent and a star on it.
Before reserving the judgement on the petitions till Feb 28, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza observed that no political party could be allowed to use the national flag as its flag.
Party’s counsel could not satisfy ECP as to why people brought Pakistani flags, instead of the party colours, in events organised by it
Giving logic behind the decision, Mr Haroon said his party did not want to “further divide the already divided Karachi”, where one could find different flags in every locality.
“In Karachi, different areas are already divided on the basis of different flags. We have come to unite people. Therefore, for the time being we do not want to use our flag and ask people to bring national flags with them in the party events,” he said.
Mr Haroon claimed that PSP chief Mustafa Kamal had never declared the national flag as the party’s colours, saying that when he had announced the launching of a new party after returning from Dubai on March 3 last year, he had not announced even the party’s name.
He said that when they formally announced the name of the party on March 23, the party did not even have its constitution prepared.
The PSP leader said the party had to prepare its manifesto and flag when it came to know that it was must for registration with the ECP and taking part in elections.
“We have not prepared the flag today. We had prepared it when we prepared the constitution,” he claimed, admitting that the party had not made its flag public yet.
Mr Haroon expressed surprise over the CEC’s remarks, saying that it was true that the flag had not been shown to anyone, but the ECP officials should know about it since they had described it to the commission with their application for registration.
Earlier, during the hearing, the PSP counsel argued that the party wanted to promote the use of the national flag by people.
Petitioner Sajid Kiani drew the attention of the commission to the “desecration of the national flag” after the PSP held public meetings and rallies.
The CEC observed that the use of the national flag in the PSP programmes gave the impression that the party had “someone’s backing”.
The ECP has written a letter to the secretary of the Sindh Assembly, stating that 13 members of the assembly have been attending its sessions, although their membership has been suspended by the commission for their failure to submit statements of their assets and liabilities.
The secretary has been asked to fix responsibility on someone for allowing the violation of the ECP’s decision.
The ECP announced on Thursday schedule for by-election in the Sindh Assembly’s constituency PS-81 (Sanghar-cum-Mirpurkhas).
According to the schedule, candidates can submit their nomination papers from Feb 23 and polling will be held on April 4.
The seat has fallen vacant due to resignation of Jam Madad Ali who was elected a member of the assembly on the Pakistan Muslim League-F ticket, but later joined the Pakistan Peoples Party.