PML-N to take on PTI in NA-122, NA-154 by-polls

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  • Pervaiz Rashid challenges Imran Khan to face Ayaz Sadiq in NA-122 by-polls, says Tareen should also face PML-N candidate in NA-154
  • PML-N leaders say party would not seek stay orders against ET verdicts but would file appeals in SC for review of orders

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Thursday announced it will contest by-elections in NA-122 and NA-154 constituencies.

Addressing reporters after a meeting of the party’s senior leadership, Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid challenged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to contest the by-elections against Sardar Ayaz Sadiq from NA-122 Lahore. Similarly, he said, Jehangir Tareen should contest by-elections from NA-154.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, who was accompanying Rashid, said the party would not seek stay orders against elections in these constituencies. They, however, said the party would seek legal remedies to keep the record straight.

Rashid told journalists that Sardar Ayaz Sadiq would be the party’s candidate from NA-122, Lahore. He added that Sadiq’s lawyer is out of the country and an appeal would be filed in the Supreme Court against the verdict of the election tribunal on his return, but no stay order would be sought. He said the party has decided to go before the court of the people against verdicts of election tribunals in NA-122 and NA-154 cases.

“PML-N has defeated PTI in all by-elections, including the recently held in Haripur, and it would defeat PTI in the upcoming by-elections as well,” Rashid asserted.

Ahsan Iqbal said PML-N would get more votes in by-elections than it secured in the general elections. He said peace is returning to the country, confidence of the international community is picking up and foreign investments are increasing.

“By hurling threats of sit-ins, Imran Khan is trying to spoil this congenial atmosphere and joys of the people,” he said.

Iqbal said the prime minister always believes in reconciliation, as is evident from his policies.

It was earlier reported that after Wednesday’s decision of an election tribunal deseated PML-N’s Siddique Baloch (NA-154, Lodhran) on a petition by PTI’s Jahangir Tareen, the party leadership had now started weighing the option of going into re-elections in all the three constituencies, instead of filing appeals in the Supreme Court.

Earlier, two tribunals in Lahore had declared the election of Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq (NA-125) and National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq (NA-122) as null and void.

The tribunals also ordered re-polling in the three constituencies.

While Rafiq had filed an appeal in the apex court which stayed the implementation of the tribunal’s verdict, Ayaz Sadiq is yet to approach the SC.