The PML-N has fielded Begum Kulsoom Nawaz as its candidates for the NA-120 seat. Asif Kirmani and Captain Safdar filed the nomination papers of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s wife for the upcoming by-poll at the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) Lahore office on Friday.
Senator Asif Kirmani told media that Nawaz Sharif’s lions have defeated opponents in the elections in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and local bodies and cantonment board elections in recent years. Kirmani said, “NA-120 will prove to be Waterloo for Imran Khan and other opponents of Nawaz Sarif.” Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid also submitted her nomination papers. She told media that the PML-N is buying votes in the constituency and attempting to rig the by-polls that will be held on September 17.
When asked about Kulsoom’s candidacy, Rashid said that the difference between them is that she is a “hardworking middle-class woman who will represent the ordinary people of the country,” whereas Kulsoom comes from what her daughter, Maryam Nawaz, has called the “ruling family.” Rashid said that she had been asking people for votes for eight days on the streets of Lahore, claiming that she had not seen any member of the PML-N doing the same.
Rashid further said that the PML-N was being “forced” to contest the by-election due to Nawaz’s ouster, adding that they should do so on a level playing field without using government machinery.
Speaking in regard to Nawaz’s GT Road rally, which entered its third day on Friday, Rashid said that the PML-N had decorated Lahore with banners as part of the preparations to welcome Nawaz home, asking where the money to do so came from. “If the PML-N has put the banners up for free, can the PTI do the same?” she questioned.
Moreover, Pakistan People’s Party candidates Zubair Kardar and Faisal Mir have filed the nominations papers for NA-120, Lahore-III, after falling vacant with disqualification of Nawaz Sharif on July 28 in Panama papers case.
Earlier, Zubair Kardar was the sole candidate of PPP for the contest. However, the by poll was suddenly turned crucial for all political parties after reports that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif would contest from this constituency. The PPP was considering of fielding Qamar Zaman Kaira or Ch Aitezaz Ahsan at one point of time. However, the situation turned cool with the fielding of Kalsoom Nawaz from the PMLN and the PPP restricted itself with the adding of Faisal Mir along with Zubair Kardar.
Sajida Mir has also been nominated by the PPP Workers Movement, led by Naheed Khan. Two independent candidates had also submitted their papers.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has asked NADRA , under Article-220 of the Constitution, to provide relevant data to enable experimental use of bio-metric machines in by-elections of NA-120 and PP-4. The Commission has urged NADRA to provide the required data before 17th of this month.