It is perhaps unsurprising that Pakistani politicians, after daylong deliberations on November 28, reached a unanimous decision that cats should be thrown out of the country's marshy politics.
'Same for radishes, carrots, okras, bananas, and the much-despised lotas, or ewers.
Implications did not extend to the proverbial "greater national interest," as is the case with so many decisions in Pakistan. Rather it was a matter of mutual personal and party interests. And so the decision came quickly.
The election commission says there are 216 registered political parties in Pakistan, while there are so far just 171 electoral symbols available. Many independent candidates will need their own symbols.
Symbols are used in elections in many countries to help illiterate voters distinguish among parties or even individual candidates. Such images, used for years in Pakistan, accompany campaign materials and must appear alongside the names of the respective individuals or groups on the ballots.
General elections are expected in April or May, and some parties have objected to the presence of certain symbols on the ballot.'