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September 18, 2017

43 candidates fielded against Nawaz: Sana

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September 18, 2017

LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that as many as 43 candidates were fielded against Nawaz Sharif (Kulsoom Nawaz) in NA-120 and he will prove that 30 of them belonged to the same party.

Talking to journalists and speaking in various TV talk shows, he said never before such a large number of candidates had taken part in a bye-election. He said the workers, supporters and local leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-N ran the election campaign in an atmosphere of fear. He said it would be sorted out in the coming days who kidnapped our party people and who released them.

Rana Sanaullah, while commenting on the election results, said the people had once again expressed their faith in the party and Mian Nawaz Sharif through this decision. He alleged that key campaign members of the PML-N were abducted at crucial time by unknown kidnappers and were released after the polling time had ended.

The provincial law minister said that there were clear deliberate efforts by certain forces to sabotage the campaign and impose a defeat on the PML-N.

He claimed that PML-N’s Provincial Constituency Coordinator Amjab Nazir Butt was kidnapped two days ago. He was blindfolded, put in a 4x4 pick-up and transported to unknown place and no information was available about him yet.

Similarly, he said, the PML-N campaigner in Pashtum community Qismat Khan was kidnapped three days ago and is missing yet, while Nadeem Wyen was kidnapped in similar fashion and was released at the time when polling ended. The law minister said he believed that these persons had not been abducted by any security agency of the government of Punjab.

Rana Sanaullah said he could not name the forces active against the PML-N. He, however, hinted by questioning as to who had shut down Geo News and who battered and harassed the cable operators.

He said he would prove it in a few days that out of 44 contesting candidates for NA-120, 30 belonged to the same party. He said the negative propaganda published in the media a day before the elections was linked to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The provincial law minister said the PML-N contested these elections despite all negative tactics, and added that the PML-N won’t back down because of such tactics.

Commenting on the number of votes polled and the margin of victory, he said that considering that it was a by-election, the number of votes isn’t low by any standard.Various other PML-N leaders also commented on the bye-election process and the victory of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif.Almost all of them termed the NA-120 by-poll result a victory of the people of Pakistan.

They, however, alleged that they were intentionally disadvantaged by the system because of which thousands of their voters could not cast their ballots.The PML-N chief polling agent for the by-poll Khwaja Ahmed Hassaan said that the election results showed the people’s choice, which is a democratic way of expressing endorsement of the stance of their leadership.About the election, he said the PML-N faced problems at the start of the day as certain polling agents of the PML-N were not allowed to sit on the polling booths.

Kh Saad Rafique, in the post-election press conference, said that the nation was witness to the fact that the PML-N was not given level playing field, in the run up to the NA-120 elections. He said strict security measures took more time for voters to cast their votes and the PML-N suffered as ‘thousands of its supporters’ were not allowed to use their right to franchise.“It was an off day and there were around ten to twelve thousand people standing outside polling stations overall at the end of polling time, who could not vote,” Saad added.

The verdict given by NA-120 constituency in the name of Nawaz Sharif proves wrong all those who believe that they could dismiss popular political leaders through conspiracies, backdoor management and propaganda of baseless allegations and forged documents. He said that those who wait for ‘raising of finger by the umpire’ should now understand that the way forward for Pakistan is only through the path of democracy. Therefore, they should let people decide through democracy instead of imposing their decisions on people through undemocratic ways, he added.

Saad said the PML-N started requesting the Election Commission three hours before end of polling time to extend the polling hours, but a reasonable request was turned down, he complained.

Later, after announcement of the unofficial results of NA-120, the federal minister claimed that the lead of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz could have been much more had the ECP extended the polling time. The PTI leadership had also opposed extension in polling time.

PML-N Lahore President Pervaiz Malik said that the results were indicative of the mood of the people of Pakistan. He said the most potent political argument speaks through the ballot box and that was what happened in the NA-120 elections.

About the problems faced by the PML-N, he said there were certain issues faced by the polling staff of the party which he communicated to the Election Commission and were somewhat sorted out. He commended Maryam Nawaz for running a successful, comprehensive and participative campaign.

Khwaja Imran Nazir said the PML-N workers had overcome all obstacles, visible and invisible, to register a resounding victory, which showed how the people feel about the decision of Nawaz’s disqualification. He said there were a number of issues faced by the polling agents and the voters of PML-N on the polling day. The PML-N voters were discouraged to cast their votes, but they could not be deterred from standing up for the sanctity of their vote.

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