LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has fielded Kulsoom Nawaz as its candidate for NA-120, a National Assembly seat from Lahore that fell vacant after the disqualification of her husband Nawaz Sharif as prime minister for concealing assets in his nomination papers.
Captain (retd) Safdar, Senator Asif Kirmani and others on Friday submitted the nomination papers for Kulsoom Nawaz.
Captain (retd) Safdar told media-persons present there that disqualification of the former PM was an attack on the two-nation theory.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Yasmin Rashid also filed her nomination papers for the key electoral battle. She appeared before the district returning officer for submitting her papers along with opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed and Ijaz Ahmed.
Hafiz Mian Zubair Kardar of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Advocate Ishtiaq Chaudhary of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek and other independent candidates also submitted their nomination papers.
Din Muhammad, a former police constable, is also in the fray as independent candidate.
According to the ECP schedule, nomination papers could be submitted at the election commission’s Punjab chapter by August 12.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday sought legal opinion over an application filed by the PTI, seeking to remove bar on MNAs to run electoral campaign for their respective candidates contesting NA-120 by-election in Lahore.
PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi submitted the application during his meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza.
PTI’s application raised objections to sub-paragraphs (v) & (vi) of the ECP notification No. F.8(4)2013 dated August 1 this year which prohibits an MNA from visiting the constituency concerned, or the polling station.
“As an MNA belonging to an opposition party, I do not currently hold any official position and/or portfolio in the government. Consequently, I am not in a position to make promises for donations and/or funds, or commit to undertake or announce any development project to the electorate of NA-120,” Qureshi noted in his application.
He also stated that he had no access to development funds “or the requisite powers to influence development schemes in NA-120”.
“The PML-N candidate has the ability to influence the election process in an unfair manner and obtain undue advantage by highlighting the government’s ability to undertake development schemes and local projects. Therefore, the aforesaid matter requires to be monitored carefully,” he wrote.
“As such my presence in the respective constituency would not provide any undue advantage to Dr Yasmeen Rashid as the PTI candidate in NA-120,” he argued.
“The bar placed vide the ECP notification restricts the mandate provided by members of PTI and essentially extinguishes rights of an elected office-bearer of a political party by prohibiting him/her from presenting the party’s policies to the electorate of NA-120. It also deprives PTI of the opportunity for a level playing field.”
The PML-N candidate, he stated, “would have access to the entire government machinery and (would be) in a position to undertake commitments on the basis of his/her party’s position. Consequently, the logic and rationale of any prohibition which extinguishes the right of an elected office-bearer from representing the party policies to the electorate appears to be misplaced and prima facie incorrect.”
He called for amending sub-paragraphs (v) & (vi) of the notification and remove the words “Members of the National Assembly/Provincial Assembly”.