Design: Hussain Afzal
Design: Hussain Afzal

Pakistan polls 2024: 10 key political parties and their electoral symbols

  • The Election Commission of Pakistan has assigned 150 different symbols to registered political parties while 174 have been allotted to independent candidates
Updated 24 Jan, 2024 05:02pm

Election day in Pakistan is just two weeks away and political parties as well as independent candidates are flexing their muscles to try luck for the national and provincial assembly seats.

During elections, electoral symbols play a key role as they help voters identity the candidates they want to vote for. This becomes more important in countries like Pakistan where a majority of constituencies are in rural areas and the literacy rate remains a concern.

Pakistan election symbols and their importance

In the upcoming general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has assigned 150 different symbols to the registered political parties while 174 have been allotted to the independent candidates.

It may be noted that Pakistan’s largest political party, as per the 2018 elections, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is not in the race, as the party lost its iconic election symbol Bat after the electoral watchdog nullified its intra-party elections. Resultantly, the party members are contesting the 2024 elections as independent candidates with separate electoral symbols.

Here is the list of 10 key political parties with their electoral symbols for the February 8 elections.

Founded prior to the 1993 elections and led by its supremo Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (N) has been one of the key political players during elections since its formation. Its top leaders include most of Sharif family members including Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Hamza Shehbaz.

Nawaz says will ensure Pakistan stands on its own two feet

Nawaz Sharif has been the prime minister thrice while Shehbaz has held the premier’s position once after former prime minister Imran Khan was removed from the position through a no-confidence resolution in 2022. In 2018 elections, PML-N won 64 National Assembly seats. The party is represented by its iconic symbol Tiger.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was founded by the late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1967 and is currently run by his son-in-law Asif Ali Zardari and grandson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who have taken care of the party matters after the assassination of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s daughter and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

‘Bat’ out, only ‘arrow’ and ‘lion’ left in electoral arena: Bilawal

PPP has contested elections with its symbol Arrow since after its previous symbol ‘Sword’ was removed from the list of election symbols during the General Zia-ul-Haq’s rule after the 1977 polls. During the 2018 elections, PPP won 43 NA seats.

With majority of its members coming from the Urdu-speaking community, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement - Pakistan (MQM-P) has come from its previous version Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The party is one of the key political players in Sindh province, especially in the city of Karachi.

MQM, JUI-F and GDA: PML-N mulling forging electoral alliance in Sindh

Its key leaders include Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Syed Mustafa Kamal, Dr. Farooq Sattar, Amir Khan, and Nasreen Jalil. MQM-P won 6 NA seats during the 2018 elections.The party contests elections with its symbol Kite.

Former ally and confidant of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan, Jahangir Khan Tareen founded Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) in 2023 after parting away from Imran and PTI.

IPP to contest general elections individually

IPP is mostly comprised of the political figures who were previously associated with the PTI such as Aleem Khan, Aamir Mehmood Kiani, Aun Chaudhry, Firdous Ashiq Awan, and Mahmood Moulvi. IPP is contesting the poll 2024 with its electoral symbol Eagle.

Founded in 1941, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) is one of the leading religio-political parties in the country. The party’s top leaders include Sirajul Haq, Liaquat Baloch, Fareed Paracha, and Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman.

JI announces ‘power show’ in Karachi

In 2018 elections, JI and different other political parties formed an alliance called Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) that won 12 seats. JI contests with its symbol Scale.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan - Fazl (JUI-F) is a factional split of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam that was founded in 1945. It was also a part of the MMA in the 2018 elections.

Fazl says country’s sovereignty at stake due to ‘foreign control’

The party’s head is Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and it contests elections with its symbol Book.

Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) was founded in 2015 by late Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi. The party couldn’t win a National Assembly seat in the 2018 elections but it got over 2.2 million votes from across the country, which was 4.2% of the total votes in the polls. TLP contests elections with its symbol Crane.

Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid (PML-Q) was formed in 2002 after political differences arose within PML-N. The party was an integral part of Late Musharraf’s government.

PML-Q seeks ‘economic sovereignty’ for resolution of issues

PML-Q won 4 seats in the 2018 polls. The party is contesting the upcoming elections with a symbol Tractor.

Formed in 1986, the Awami National Party (ANP) follows the ideology of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan who is also known as Bacha Khan. Its top leaders include Asfandyar Wali Khan and Ameer Haider Hoti.

ANP unveils list of candidates for NA, PA seats

During 2018 elections, the party managed to win only 1 NA seat. ANP contests elections with its symbol Lantern.

Balochistan National Party - Mengal (BNP) was formed in 1996 by Ataullah Mengal who had remained the chief minister of Balochistan during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s premiership. In 1997 elections, BNP made a coalition government in Balochistan. In 2018 elections, the party won only 3 NA seat. It contests elections with its symbol Axe.


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