LAHORE - President PML-N and former Punjab chief minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has expressed serious concerns over the arrest of party candidates during campaign saying the act has put a question mark on fairness and impartiality of the coming election.

Shehbaz Sharif in a statement issued here yesterday said people were the best judge on the qualification or disqualification of the candidates and when they had presented themselves, in accordance with law and the constitution, in the court of people, let them decide their fate.

He expressed the hope that the court of the masses would prove the best judge for strengthening democracy in the country.

The former chief minister also blamed NAB for victimising the PML-N which he added, was not only aimed at damaging the campaign of his party but had also created serious doubts about the fairness of the elections.

He said the PML-N had contacted the Election Commission in terms of Article 218(3) of the Constitution to have their reservations addressed and to ensure impartiality and fairness of the polls and that every political party be provided level playing field.

He hoped the election commission would take immediate notice.

Shehbaz said it was also unfair that PML-N’s service and performance were turned into a crime through a plan.

He said it was his pride that the PML-N was the most popular party in the country with deep roots into the public. He also asked the NAB to dispel the impression that the PML-N was being victimised.

He said history was witness that the PML-N had defeated all such tactics through the court of people and this time too these plans would be thwarted through mass verdict.

The PML-N president expressed serious concerns over the arrest of the party candidate Qamarul Islam in Texla and added, his arrest had cast doubts on the free and fair polls.

Using such tactics to keep political parties out of political process was not a healthy practice, he added.

He also wanted every institution in the country to function within its prescribed limits for strengthening democratic process.

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He said steps taken by any institutions to damage democracy could not be appreciated.

He said the PML-N believed in the politics of public service and it was entering the election arena with the same motto. He optimistically said recognizing this fact, the masses would vote the PML-N to power again.