The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) allotted the ‘arrow’ symbol to the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) on Monday whereas the decision over the name of Pakistan People’s Party was withheld by the commission.

A three member bench of the commission headed by Justice (Retd) Riaz Kayani resumed the hearing over the allotment of the ‘arrow’ symbol and the name of the Pakistan People’s Party.

The PPPP was represented by Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Latif Khosa, Farroq H. Naek and Masood Kausar.

Ghinwa Bhutto, chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party-Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB), had requested the ECP to register her party as the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and for the allotment of ‘sword’ as the election symbol for her party.

Estranged People’s Party leaders Naheed Khan and Safdar Abbasi had also filed a request for the registration of a new party called the PPP and had also requested for ‘arrow’ as the election symbol.

The commission allotted the ‘arrow’ symbol to the PPPP while deferring its decision over the registration and name of the PPP.

Naheed Khan and Safdar Abbasi raised slogans of “Shame Shame” after the announcement in the court room while a heated argument and scuffle occurred between the supporters of Naheed Khan and PPPP outside the ECP premises after the announcement of the decision. A PPP leader Shahzadi Kausar Gilani beat Nahid Group supporters with her shoes. During exchange of bouts Shahzadi Kausar Gilani and Naheed Khan’s assistant Mohammad Asif fell unconscious.

Later police intervened and separated the two groups but no arrests were made.

Speaking to media persons after the decision, former law minister Farooq H Naek said that they would contest the upcoming elections under the platform of the PPP Parliamentarians and that the commission had made a fair decision over the issue.

Another PPPP leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim said the public had trust in the Pakistan People’s Party and that the election symbol ‘arrow’ was their right.

During arguments before the ECP, Jehangir Badr and Sardr Latif Khosa also argued against each other under a preplanned strategy. Jehangir Badr stressed that he is secretary general of the party and was appointed on the post by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto while Sardar Latif Khosa stressed that he is the secretary general of the party. There were heated exchanges between the two and the commission sent Jehangir Badr to the adjacent room to pacify the situation.

However after the verdict, both the leaders said they have no differences among them but they wanted to secure the PPP’s name, its historic arrow symbol and save it from going to Ghinva Bhutto and Naheed Khan.

Latif Khosa said he had placed all the facts before the commission pointing out that there was no difference between the PPP and PPPP. He said the PPP is the real party while PPPP is a temporary arrangement to contest elections because former dictator Pervez Musharraf had imposed a ban on PPP’s participation in elections. He said Naheed Khan and Ghinva Bhutto wanted to hijack the PPP name and arrow symbol for personal gains.

The ECP had allotted election symbols to 144 parties last week while withholding its decision on allotment of ‘arrow’ as election symbol which was sought by three parties.