Shehbaz kicks off PML-N’s election campaign from Karachi


–PML-N president assures Karachi residents of removing garbage heaps in six months, addressing water woes in three years if voted into power


KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif on Monday arrived in Karachi to formally launch the party’s campaign for the General Election 2018.

The PML-N president was welcomed by party workers at the airport.

The former chief minister of Punjab, in a video message late Sunday, said that he would be holding “rallies and meetings” in Karachi.

Addressing reporters outside the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Shehbaz promised the citizens of Karachi that if the PML-N is voted into power, he will rid the city of its garbage heaps in six months besides addressing the city’s water woes in three years. He also called for promoting the use of public transport to save time.

On Sunday, election campaigning by different parties kicked off in various parts of Pakistan with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan addressing a public rally in Mianwali.

The PTI chief launched his election campaign from his home constituency, NA-95.

In a statement, Khan had said if voted into power, his party would transform Pakistan according to the vision of the country’s founding fathers Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal. He had said the PTI will turn the dream of a great Pakistan into realisation.

Elsewhere, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad started his election campaign in Rawalpindi.

Speaking on the occasion, he had said his party was confident of victory in the upcoming general elections.

Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Dr Hassan Askari had said that holding of peaceful, transparent, unbiased and impartial elections was the foremost priority of the government and every step would be taken to achieve the purpose.

The chief minister had said: “We will not disappoint our nation in this regard.” He had said that the interim government was vigilant to deliver its national responsibility for free and fair elections.

He had said that the administration would carry out its duty impartially across the province and perform within the framework given by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Meanwhile, a visible surge was witnessed in the number of minorities candidates from Punjab coupled with the federal capital that showed interest to come forward and contest in the upcoming general elections raising the number from 56 in last polls to 232 this time.

According to official data of ECP, a total number of 625 minorities candidates filed nomination papers to returning officers for contesting general elections 2018 for National Assembly as well as provincial assembly slots as compared to 310 in general elections 2013.

As many as 154 candidates are in the run to get a seat in the National Assembly while 471 are willing to book their seat in provincial houses.

About 73 minorities candidates submitted nomination papers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Federally Administered Tribal Areas, as compared to 70 in last election five years back in 2013. While a sneak dip was observed in the number of candidates from Balochistan, where only 56 candidates are willing to be part of the provincial house as compared to 61 last time.

Whereas in Sindh, this number was of interested candidates dropped from 123 in 2013 to 110 for the general polls 2018. Overall the total number of candidates who filed nomination papers for grabbing a slot in national and provincial houses has dropped from 28,302 in last general elections to 21,482 for the upcoming general elections scheduled to be held next month.