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PML-N continues interviews for national, provincial assemblies candidates

Nawaz and Shahbaz differ over award of tickets to certain candidates including Nisar

General elections 2018

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By Faisal Ali Ghumman

LAHORE: As the general elections are fast approaching and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is getting its directives implemented by the political parties and its aspirants contesting the polls, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz also flexed its muscles on Sunday and continued a series of interviews to select potential candidates in first phase.

Over a roughly four dozen MNAs and MPAs who have quit party to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in the last few months or so, the Nawaz-led outgoing ruling PML-N is in search of suitable and loyal candidates.

Nawaz and Shehbaz are also not on same page regarding issuing a party ticket to former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar, who has parted ways with the policies of the party, as Nawaz has been insisting Nisar should put up a formal request. Nisar is likely to face PML-N candidate Engineer Qamar ul Islam in NA-59.

It is believed that alternate candidates will be fielded for some party leaders who are facing cases.

The party’s parliamentary board held its meeting in the provincial capital to interview hopefuls for candidacy in upcoming election on July 25 for first phase of announcements for party candidates for the national and provincial assembly constituencies.

The party is much likely to award majority tickets to those who were previously members of the national or provincial assemblies.

The party had earlier stated candidates would be announced in two phases. However, a date for the second phase is yet to be announced.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sahrif, former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Asif Ashraf and Rana Mashood were present among others during the interview session and interviewed aspirants for PML-N tickets.

Shehbaz, who was appointed PML-N president after a Supreme Court ruling ordering the removal of Nawaz as party chief, was also interviewed by the party’s parliamentary panel.

“Mian Sb, you are the party quaid and it is your decision whether to give me a ticket or not,” Shehbaz said before the party board. The former Punjab chief minister was questioned regarding his performance and future plans during the interview.

Nomination papers of PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif were received by the party leaders for contesting elections from three constituencies in Karachi on Sunday.

Shehbaz Sharif, who is also likely to contest elections from constituencies of Lahore and Dera Ghazi Khan, has submitted nomination papers for NA-248, NA-249, and NA-250 in Karachi.

Few turncoats left party: Nawaz

PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday that a fair few turncoat politicians left the party and the front made for the cause of southern Punjab died down within two days.

Addressing the parliamentary board, the party’s quaid said people in Punjab acknowledge that the amount of development work in the province in the past 10 years is unparalleled.

Nawaz further said negative propaganda is a part of the politics and he has been seeing it since the day he joined politics

PML-N leaders file nomination papers

A few leaders of PML-N submitted nomination papers on Sunday for various constituencies of national and provincial assemblies.

Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar submitted nomination papers for NA-59 (Rawalpindi III) and NA-63 (Taxila) besides two seats of Punjab Assembly PP-10 and PP-12.

On the other hand, PML-N leader and daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif submitted the nomination papers for NA-127 in Lahore district.

Former foreign minister Khawaj Asif filed his details for PP-37 and Sialkot’s constituency NA-73.

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