ISLAMABAD  - Ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N) has invited applications from potential candidates for upcoming Senate elections with bright changes of enhancing its position in the Upper House of the Parliament.
Some 52 senators are going to retire from the Upper House on March 18 and all the parties having members in the provincial assemblies as well as National Assembly were busy hobnobbing with each other to grab maximum out of the vacated slots.
PML-N has asked the potential candidates to furnish applications with the party secretariat carrying bank draft of Rs50,000 by 30th of this month so that the candidates could be picked from among the aspirants.
According to the statistics available with The Nation, some eight out of 16 Senators of PML-N would be retiring while with their current numerical strength in National Assembly, and Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa assemblies, the electoral college for these elections, they stand fair chance of winning at least 16 seats taking the total tally of the party to 24. The party could bag another couple of seats in case of slicing better bargain with other parties having less strength in the Electoral College.
Sources in the ruling PML-N informed that as majority of the heavyweights like Raja Zafarul Haq, Mushahidullah Khan, Perviaz Rashid, Jaffar Iqbal were among the retiring Senators the party would likely be awarding party tickets again with new comers stand little chance to secure the party ticket for the elections to the Upper House of the Parliament.
With a thumping majority in the Punjab Assembly most of the Senators of the party would be coming from Punjab and according to calculation the party would surely be bagging nine out of 11 slots from the province with most of the retiring senators, including Raja Zafarul Haq, Ch. Jaffar Iqbal, Pervaiz Rashid, Mashahidullah Khan and Begum Najma Hameed would be among those securing party tickets.
Sources in the party informed that party’s Secretary General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra would be awarded party ticket from Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa from where the party would likely be bagging one seat and could even win another seat in alliance with other opposition parties with low representation and could not able to win a seat independently.
Sources further informed that out of retiring Senators the chances of Allama Sajid Mir and Syed Zafar Ali Shah are low to re-get the party tickets while some new faces like Irfan Siddiqui, Tariq Azeem, Zubair Umar, Kh. Hassan and few others are strong contenders to secure party tickets for Senate elections scheduled to be held on March 3.
Sources in the party informed that Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz would likely secure party ticket on one of the two seats to be vacated from Federal Capital while Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir would be given party ticket from Balochistan.