ISLAMABAD, March 19 (Xinhua) -- As electioneering is picking up in Pakistan, the country's election panel Tuesday started awarding symbols to parties, local media reported.
Symbols are used by the parties in elections in Pakistan to help illiterate voters differentiate among parties or candidates. Party symbols will be appeared alongside names of the candidates on the ballot papers.
General elections are scheduled to be held in May and political parties have started campaign across the country.
On Tuesday the Election Commission allotted to several mainstream parties including the major opposition Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) of former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. Lion was again allotted to the PML-N.
The allotment of symbol to former ruling Pakistan People's Party of President Asif Ali Zardari was deferred over controversy.
A PPP leader Samsam Bukhari asked for the party's old symbol ' arrow' however an estranged party leader Ms. Naheed Khan claimed that she should be allotted the symbol as she is leader of the PPP. Naheed Khan has served as political secretary to slain PPP leader, Benazir Bhutto until her assassination in 2007. Also Ghinwa Bhutto, widow of Murtaza Bhutto, the slain brother of Benazir Bhutto, applied for changing its party's name from People's Party (Shaheed Bhutto) to "Pakistan People's Party."
The major Islamic party 'Jamiat ulema-e-Islam' was allotted the symbol of Book while the former ruling party in the militancy- hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 'Awami National Party' was given Lantern.
The powerful party of the Urdu-speaking people 'Mutahida Qaumi Movement' got the symbol of Kite.
Pakistan's father of nuclear program Dr Abdul Qadir Khan, who recently launched 'Tehrik-e-Tahafuz Pakistan' was allotted the symbol of Missile.
The fast emerging popular party of cricketer-turned politician, Imran Khan, was allotted 'Bat.'
The Election Commission asked all 136 political parties which have applied for Election Symbols to send their representatives for allotment of election symbols.