10 withdraw from NA-120 by-election race

LAHORE: Of the 55 candidates in the run for the by-election to the National Assembly constituency NA-120 (Lahore III), 10 pulled out of the contest on Friday — the last day for withdrawal of nomination papers.

The Election Com­mission of Pakistan (ECP) will publish a final list of the candidates on Saturday.

Most of those opting for the pullout were covering candidates for nominees of several political parties.

Kulsoom’s covering candidate remains in the field

They included PPP’s Azizur Rehman Chan and PTI’s Andleeb Abbas.

The PML-N has, however, decided not to withdraw nomination papers of Hafiz Nauman, the covering candidate of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, ostensibly in view of her illness. Ms Nawaz is the PML-N’s candidate for the seat.

She is at present undergoing treatment for lymphoma at a London health facility.

Hafiz Nauman appeared before the returning officer and requested him that he be allotted “Laptop” as his election symbol as an independent candidate.

The PML-N’s election symbol is “Tiger”.

He told media that he was contesting the by-poll as an independent candidate in line with the party’s political strategy.

Dr Tahirul Qadri-led Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s Ishtiaq Chaudhry withdrew his nomination in favour of PTI’s Dr Yasmin Rashid when a delegation of the latter visited the PAT leadership in Model Town here.

The PAT also promised to run the election campaign of Dr Rashid.

Meanwhile, the PPP faction, led by former senator Safdar Abbasi, has approached the returning officer for NA-120 for

barring Faisal Mir from contesting the by-poll as a joint candidate of the Bilawal-led PPP and PPP-P, led by former president Asif Ali Zardari, on the election symbol of “Arrow”.

Sardar Hur Bukhari, the Abbasi faction’s covering candidate, in a written application to the RO said that as litigation had been going on between his and Bilawal-led party factions for the election symbol, Mr Mir should not be allotted the same.

However, he would have no objection if Mr Mir contested the by-election as an independent candidate or as a nominee of the PPP-P.

Polling for the seat will be held on Sept 17.