LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) has started interviewing candidates to award party tickets for the upcoming general elections and an important meeting of the Parliamentary Board was held at the party’s central secretariat on Saturday.
Party leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif presided over the meeting while Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Head of Election Cell Senator Ishaq Dar, party’s Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal and central and provincial officials participated in the meeting including coordinators of the respective divisions.
The meeting considered the selection of suitable candidates for the party in Sargodha division. Fateha was offered to senior parliamentarians Begum Najma Hameed and Mushadullah Khan and paid tribute to her services. The next Parliamentary Board meeting will be held on December 4, in which suitable candidates for the National and Provincial Assembly will be selected from Rawalpindi Division.
The meeting lasted for about 7 hours during which 105 shortlisted candidates for 34 total constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies from four districts of the Sargodha division were interviewed. 38 candidates gave interviews for a total of 11 seats in the National Assembly of Sargodha Division while 67 candidates were interviewed for a total of 23 seats in the Provincial Assembly of Sargodha Division.
Earlier, PMLN Punjab President and former Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and PMLN General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal talked with the media. Rana Sanaullah said that in the first meeting of the Parliamentary Board, the candidates of the Sargodha Division were interviewed.
On a question, Rana Sanaullah stated that a committee will be formed to solve any problems in the constituencies. He also emphasized that party discipline will be maintained. When asked about the statement of Daniyal Aziz, Sanaullah stated that the party has taken strict notice of Aziz’s statement and has issued a show-cause notice to him. Sanaullah urged Aziz to avoid such rhetoric in the future.
Over another question, he said the PPP wanted to take the opposition vote in Punjab, which it can only get by talking politically against the PMLN. “The culture of toy-toy and insulting the opponents should be avoided as this culture has already brought irreparable instability to politics and democracy during the last five years,” Rana Sanaullah said adding all the political forces including the PPP should fight elections by observing political decency.
He said: “What has been devolved in the 18th amendment will not be the kind of fear that PPP wanted to create. Over another question, Rana Sanaullah said electables were necessary for every election and PMLN was also doing so but with the consultation of their people.”
Rana Sanaullah stated that if there was a dedicated and selfless worker who could contest and emerge victorious in the elections, there was no alternative. He further added that the PDM, which united for the coalition government, did not do so solely for the election, but rather to protect the country. PMLN’s Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal stated that the party is actively preparing for the upcoming elections and the Parliamentary Board will select the best candidates to ensure success on February 8, 2024.
-Ahsan Iqbal claimed that PMLN is the only party with the capacity and team for development and economy, citing achievements such as ending electricity load shedding, combating terrorism, and bringing significant investment from CPEC. He accused the PTI Chairman and his team of causing the country’s economy to crash due to incompetence. Iqbal mentioned that young candidates have shown interest in joining PMLN, indicating that the nation’s hopes are with the party. Interviews will be held for candidates from Hazara Malakund Division on Tuesday, Balochistan on December 6, Bahawalpur on December 8, Lahore on December 15, and Sindh province on 16th December, Ahsan Iqbal said, adding that only those candidates will be selected for tickets who can serve the nation and succeed in the election.
About Daniyal Aziz’s statement, Iqbal said he was saddened by the statement. He said a high school student can also tell that inflation has nothing to do with planning. “I don’t know why Daniyal is speaking the language of Bilawal Bhutto,” he said and termed the statement an attempt to damage the reputation of the party.
Ahsan Iqbal also rejected that there was any proposal to amend the 18th amendment and said this amendment was incomplete and the PMLN would complete it. “Our program is to carry the Eighteenth Amendment to its logical conclusion,” Ahsan Iqbal added.
The inflation Pakistan was facing was the responsibility of the four-year-old government of PTI and the surrender of the agreement with the IMF, Ahsan Iqbal claimed, adding the present inflation has destroyed the economy through incompetence and destroyed the CPEC.
Meanwhile, PMLN Lahore will hold interviews of party ticket candidates from Lahore on Sunday (today). The board will conduct interviews under the chairmanship of PMLN senior leader Khawaja Saad Rafique while Malik Ahmed Khan, President PMLN Lahore Saiful Malok Khokhar, General Secretary PMLN Lahore Khawaja Imran Nazir will also be part of the interview team.
As per the interview schedule, interviews for NA-117 and its provincial constituencies PP-145 and PP-146 will be held at 11 am, interviews of NA-118 and its provincial constituencies PP-147 and PP-148 at noon, interviews of NA-119 and its provincial constituencies PP-149 and PP-150 will be held at 2 pm, interviews for NA-120 and its provincial constituencies PP-151 and PP-154 will be held at 3 pm, interviews of PP-152 and PP-153 will be held at 4 pm, interviews of PP-155 and PP-157 will be held at 5 pm and interviews of PP-158 and PP-163 will be held at 6 pm.
PMLN party ticket aspirants were instructed to come alone and avoid bringing their supporters with them to the party office.