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Imran Khan Ally Gets 'Eggplant' Image As Pakistan Votes Today

Photo: AFP

Islamabad: Aamir Mughal proudly wields an eggplant, embracing the quirky symbols assigned to candidates in the ongoing Pakistan polls. As political tensions rise and opposition faces restrictions, candidates like Mughal find themselves equipped with unconventional symbols, leading to both amusement and protest.

In a nation where literacy rates are around 60 percent, symbols play a crucial role in identifying candidates during campaigns and on ballot papers. With a crackdown on opposition parties, some candidates argue that authorities are intentionally assigning them degrading or peculiar symbols.

Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister, barred from Thursday's poll, witnesses his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), losing their cricket bat emblem due to election commission rules violations. PTI members, now running as independents, report harassment and bizarre symbols, adding to the electoral chaos.

The Election Commission of Pakistan defends the symbol assignments, stating they are the prerogative of returning officers and are chosen from a list designed for independents.

One such symbolic oddity is the humble eggplant, or "baingan" in Urdu, a staple in Pakistani cuisine with an added emoji connotation. Aamir Mughal, a candidate from Islamabad, claims the eggplant symbol was assigned to mock him, but he embraces it, turning the vegetable into a campaign mascot.

In the eastern Punjab province, Ejaz Gaddan faces symbolism linked to a simple wood-frame bed, a "charpai," which he sees as an attempt to humiliate. Gaddan, however, finds a positive twist, highlighting the charpai's significance in everyday life.

Meanwhile, Shehryar Afridi in northwestern Pakistan challenges the negative implications of the bottle symbol issued to him. Despite its connotations, Afridi reinterprets the symbol, transforming it into a medicine bottle to address societal ailments.

As candidates navigate through these peculiar symbols, the election landscape becomes a battleground not just for votes but also for the meanings behind the assigned icons."

(Aside from the headline, DXB News Network staff have not made any edits to this story; it is published from a syndicated feed)


Feb. 8, 2024 12:36 p.m. 1402

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