ISLAMABAD, March 16 The Election Commission has decided in principle to restore the symbols deleted from the list of approved poll symbols by military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq in the late 70s, including PPP's original election symbol 'sword'.

This was indicated by the commission at a recent meeting during which application of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan seeking inclusion of symbol Tarazoo (scales) in the list of approved symbols was discussed.

Informed sources told Dawn that the commission after considering at length the application resolved to take steps for inclusion of 'scales' and other symbols in the list of approved symbols at an appropriate time.

Sword, plough and scales were three symbols deleted from the list of prescribed election symbol by Gen Ziaul Haq after 1977 general election. Sword was the election symbol of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) headed at that time by late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, while plough was the election symbol of an amalgam of politico-religious parties named as Pakistan National Alliance (PNA).

Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), which was part of the PNA in 1977, had contested 1970 polls with scales as its election symbol.

Analysts believe that the main aim was to omit sword from the list, but other symbols were also taken out of the list to prove that it was not a one-sided action.