NA-122, NA 154: PML-N decides to contest by-elections

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) decided on Thursday in a meeting that it would contest by-elections on NA-122 Lahore and NA-154 Lodhran constituencies instead of filing an application in the Supreme Court with a view to seeking stay orders.

Talking to media persons after attending a high-level meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid and Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said that his party would not seek stay orders against elections on these constituencies.

They, however, said the party would certainly seek legal remedies to keep the record straight. The Information Minister said Sardar Ayaz Sadiq would be party candidate from NA-122 and asked the PTI chief Imran Khan to contest the election from the constituency too.

“We will seek no stay orders on the vacant seats but we will definitely file an appeal in the Supreme Court against verdict of the Election Tribunal,” Rashid said.

He said that the counsel for Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is out of the country and the appeal in the Supreme Court would be filed as soon as he returned to the country. Rashid said that people of the constituencies are the best judges and they would decide in the by-elections about popularity of politicians and the parties.

The minister said that Jehangir Tareen should contest by-election from NA-154 as this would prove as to whom the people would like to elect for the seat. Rashid said the PML-N has defeated the PTI in all the by-elections, including the recently held in Haripur, and it would defeat PTI in the coming by-elections as well.

Ahsan Iqbal said the PML-N would get more votes in by-elections than it secured in the general elections. He said peace is returning to the country, confidence of the international community is picking up and foreign investment increasing in the country.

He said that Imran Khan is trying to spoil the congenial atmosphere and joys of the people by hurling threats of sit-ins. He said the prime minister always believes in reconciliation, as is evident from his policies. Earlier, two tribunals in Lahore had declared the election of Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique (NA-125) and National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq (NA-122) as null and void after finding massive irregularities in the constituencies.

The tribunals also ordered a re-poll in the three constituencies, including NA-154, Lodhran. The Railways Minister has already obtained a stay order against re-poll in his constituency from the Supreme Court.