ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has almost reached on consensus to field old PML-N worker Zafarullah Khan in NA-48 by-election. “Old PML-N worker and senior lawyer Zafarullah Khan is most likely to be awarded party ticket to contest bye-election from NA-48,” said a PML-N source sharing details of parliamentary board’s meeting chaired by PML-N Chief and Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif the other day.

For NA-48 by-election, sources said, the board meeting deliberated on different names including Hanif Abbasi, Anjum Aqeel Khan, Ashraf Gujar and others but most of the consensus was on Zafarullah Khan.

Sources said that though PML-N’s heavyweights advocated for allocation of the party’s ticket to former MNA Hanif Abbasi who had lost polls from NA-56 in general polls but the name of Zafarullah Khan was almost decided to award ticket. The former PML-N MNA Anjum Aqeel’s name was also dropped because of having allegations over land fraud in the National Police Foundation embezzlement case.

Zafarullah Khan holds a Masters degree in International Relations from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the City University, London, Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Vocational Studies from the University of West of England, Bristol; and Bar-at-Law from the Lincoln’s Inn, London. If Zafarullah Khan is awarded ticket, he would face strong contender Asad Umar from PTI. Earlier PTI President Javed Hashmi won this seat with big margin in May 11 elections. At least, 75 per cent of the total voters of NA-48 hail from urban areas, while 25 per cent of voters reside in rural areas like Golra, Sangjani, Tarnol and other villages.

Meanwhile, scrutiny process of nomination papers filed by aspiring candidates for by-polls on federal capital’s constituency NA-48 has been completed.

The returning officer (RO) for the constituency Shah Rukh Arjumand Wednesday scrutinised nomination papers of three candidates including a female contender Asia Bibi. The RO accepted nomination papers of total 44 aspirants while the papers of 4 contenders including PML-N leader Ajmal Baloch were rejected. PTI leader Adnan Randhawa has withdrawn his papers.

For by-polls in the constituency, 25 candidates of PML-N, 4 candidates of PTI and one each candidate of PPP, JI, JUI-F, PPP (SB), Pakistan Justice Party, Pakistan Freedom Party and 13 independent aspirants submitted their nomination papers.

PTI President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi won the seat by securing 73,878 votes against PML-N candidate Anjum Aqeel Khan, who got 52,205 votes, during the general elections held in May.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, there are 282,850 eligible voters from NA-48 and out of them 150,343 are male and 132,507 female voters. The constituency mostly comprises Islamabad’s urban areas.

Now, the objections on candidates’ nomination papers can be submitted till July 22. The decisions against the appeals will be announced on July 29 and candidates could withdraw their nomination papers till July 30 while the final list of the candidates will be displayed on July 31.