Around 75% of the applicants from two districts of Punjab – Mandi Bahauddin and Sialkot –who appeared before Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Central Parliamentary Board on Thursday for tickets were found to be dual nationals, The Express Tribune has learnt.
PML-N’s President Nawaz Sharif conducted interviews of applicants of final districts of Central Punjab, Mandi Bahauddin, Sialkot, Sheikhupura, Nanakana Sahab, Kasur and Lahore district.
According to the participants, Sharif is keen to bag around 56 National Assembly (NA) seats out of a total 68 seats of Central Punjab in order to attain party’s target of 110 NA seats out of a total 148 NA seats from the entire province.
It was noted that around 200 candidates from Sialkot and Mandi Bahauddin, who applied for party tickets, either for the National or provincial assembly seats, were dual nationals.
From the approximately 70 candidates from Mandi Bahauddin, 50 were found to be dual nationals. The applicants held nationalities of France, Germany, Italy, Japan and other European countries.
When Nawaz asked them why they want to wrap up their businesses abroad and revoke their foreign nationalities, they said they want to serve Pakistan. The interviewees said Nawaz tried to convince them otherwise but they politely refused his offer and pressed for a party ticket.
Nawaz did not make any promises, but told them to stay with the party even if they failed to get a ticket.
Several applicants did not appear for their interviews, and Nawaz was told that they have joined PTI.
Nawaz also finalised tickets for other candidates from various areas in Punjab.
From Lahore, NA 129 goes to Shahbaz Sharif, NA 125 to Khawaja Saad Rafique, NA 120 to Nawaz Sharif and NA 119 to Hamza Shahbaz Sharif.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2013.