LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Sunday continued its selection process and reviewed the N-family. PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shahbaz were amongst the several candidates from Lahore that were interviewed by the Parliamentary Board for allotment of tickets.
No announcement was made regarding the allotments as speculated in the media. According to the former provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah, the party has not finalised the list of its candidates.
He revealed the party will take another four to five or even seven days to finalise the tickets. He said that final decision regarding the constituencies of Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza and Maryam is also yet to be taken.
It is pertinent to mention that party has already finalised almost 70 per cent of its candidates from Punjab.
It was speculated Shahbaz would contest from NA-132 and PP-165.
Other than these seats, he was also considering to contest elections from Swat, Karachi and Dera Gazi Khan. Hamza is being considered for NA-124 and PP-146, whereas Maryam was being considered from either NA-125 or NA-127, and was also contesting from PP-173.
According to well-informed sources, the consultative process for the allotment of tickets from Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Gujranwala and a couple of tickets for other places were causing delays for the party in finalising the list.
“The selection process takes a long time”, Sanaullah said, adding that those parties which have decided names in haste do not know the importance of careful scrutiny of the candidates for elections.
Responding to the media report regarding the failure of the party board in deciding ticket allotment, Maryam Nawaz told this scribe it takes time to interview 4,000 candidates. PML-N entertains and values every applicant. The parliamentary board has held six meetings in total interviewing candidates around the province, she stressed.
During the parliamentary board meeting as an applicant of the party ticket from Lahore, PML-N president presented himself for questioning.
As per the official sources he was questioned regarding his performance in Punjab and was also enquired about his future plans.
Shebaz said Nawaz Sharif is his leader and that he will accept whatever decision his party makes.
He praised his brother’s leadership in his response and said, “[Nawaz] was the one who introduced PML-N in the country and took it to new heights.”
He said Sharif took PML-N to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Sindh. Though he accepted his party failed to capitalise on its support in K-P.
He also regretted his party’s late entry in Sindh. He said that he has witnessed a lot of support for PML-N in the province. People appreciate the party in Sindh for eliminating terrorism from Pakistan, he briefed.
Maryam Nawaz also presented herself before the board. She said that she is a party worker like everyone else in the party.
It is my first time in the elections, she said adding that she had applied from two constituencies 125 and NA-127.
She was of the view that it was up to the party to give her NA ticket from either one. It is the decision of the party to allow or deny her the right to contest election from PML-N, she said.
Former PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif during the board meeting said PML-N was popular throughout the country. It was speculated that many would abandon the party after the dissolution of assemblies, he said. Contrary to the speculations none have left the party, he added.
Only those have left the party who were never from the party, Sharif stressed.
He said that Southern Punjab slogan also failed to win any hearts in southern Punjab.