LAHORE – The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is ambivalent about awarding ticket and taking time to unveil final list of its contestants for the elections.
Sources in the party say that 90 percent of the candidates have been finalised but the remaining 10 percent pending nominations is holding back the party from releasing the final list.
They say that most of the desiring candidates are those whose cases are being heard in election tribunals and as soon as their names get cleared, they will be awarded ticket.
Sources say that some of the aspiring candidates are those who are facing complaints at the party level which are being sorted out expeditiously while delay in the announcement of tickets holders by other main political parties is another factor that preventing the PML-N from revealing the ultimate runners.
The party leadership is taking much care to evaluate that none of its candidates will get disqualified after winning the polls on account of non payment of loans, utility bills and tax evasion.
Sources say the party has earlier decided to announce the final list on Monday but now it has been postponed it to April 15 as by that time the fate of the appealing candidates would have been decided.
According to sources, expecting a stiff contest with the PTI, which has fielded Imran Khan, Aleem Khan, Ch Ijaz, Mahmoodur Rashid and others stalwarts in Lahore, the PML-N is still keeping options open for at least five city seats.
In its pet seat, NA-126 Lahore, the party has fielded relatively second rate candidates in view of the fact that JI has named Liaqat Baloch from that constituency. Sources say in case of any seat adjustment with the JI, the PML-N may give this seat to the JI. The negotiations between the two parties are still going on.
Sources say the JI which initially demanded 60 seats under the adjustment formula, has now come down to 10 seats but this meagre number too falling heavy on the PML-N, given the bulk of ticket seekers throughout the country. They say that the party is willing to adjust the JI only in Lahore, Layyah and Bahawalpur at the provincial level.
Sources went on to add that former MNAs elected from Lahore namely, Umar Suhail Zia Butt, Ch Naseem Ahmad Bhutta, Mian Marghoob Ahmad and Yasin Bilal may not be in the run for the National Assembly seats this time. In order to press the party for ticket, Umar Sohail, who is also closely related to the Sharif family, staged a protest along with his supporters in Model Town on Wednesday.
Maryam Nawaz, daughter of PML-N President Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, also reached the spot and supported the demand of young Butt.

Published in The Nation newspaper on 11-Apr-2013