LAHORE – After a gap of about 17 years, former two-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formally entered into the election arena from the NA-120 Lahore constituency on Monday when his spouse, Begum Kalsum Nawaz Sharif, inaugurated his main office near Postmaster General Office on The Lower Mall, in the presence of thousands of enthusiastic supporters and the party leaders.

The opening of the office coincided with the acceptance of Nawaz Sharif’s nomination papers by the Lahore High Court Election Tribunal after they were challenged by a private person.

Lahore, a bastion of PML-N, has never let down Nawaz Sharif in the past as he has been consistently emerging victorious in the national and the provincial assembly constituencies here since 1985. Nawaz Sharif is contesting the current election from NA-120 of the city constituency after about 17 years which in the past was marked as NA-92 when the total number of general seats was 207 against the current 272. Sharif contested the last election in 1997 from NA-95, Lahore. However, he could not contest election in 2002 and 2008. In the election 2002, he was in Saudi Arabia and Pervez Musharraf wanted to keep the Sharifs out of politics. Again in 2008, Sharif could not contest election despite his presence in the country.

In NA-120, PPP has fielded Zubair Kardar, PTI Dr Yasmeen Rashid and JI Hafiz Salman Butt who are expected to be main contenders against Nawaz Sharif in the next election.

The PML-N took out a big rally from Model Town office of the party to the Lower Mall office. During inauguration of the office in NA-120, workers chanted loud slogans in favour of Nawaz Sharif. Through drum beating and bhungra, they created a carnival-like scene.

The party leaders, including Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Pervez Malik, Mian Marghoob Ahmad, Bilal Yasin, Malik Riaz, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and among others, were also present.

While talking to reporters at Model Town, Maryam Nawaz said the whole nation was looking at Nawaz Sharif who, they were sure, could steer the country out of crises. She looked very optimist about the landslide victory of the party in the coming election.

Hamza Shahbaz Sharif said PML-N believed in action and not rhetoric and was striving for a real change in the life of the common man in the country. He promised revolutionary steps for the development of Punjab if the party was voted to power.

Khawaja Saad said the past had witnessed the achievements of Nawaz Sharif who had made untiring efforts to strengthen democracy in the country.

He was sure that the masses would reject the corrupt elements and vote for PML-N to see the country on the track of prosperity and development.

Pervez Malik said PML-N would transform Pakistan into what Jinnah and Iqbal had visualised.