JHANG, April 18: PML-N ticket-holder for NA-89 Sheikh Waqas Akram has withdrawn his nomination papers after being allowed by an election tribunal of the Lahore High Court to contest election.

The tribunal set aside an earlier decision by the returning officer for NA-89, disqualifying him for the election on the basis of “holding a fake A-level certificate.”

At a hurriedly-called media conference at his residence on Thursday, Waqas Akram, a former federal minister, said the decision of the election tribunal vindicated his position. He alleged that he was a “victim of a conspiracy hatched by the Higher Education Commission which was annoyed with him.” He said he, as education minister, refused to succumb to their illegal demand of giving extensions to some contract employees.

“They not only declared my certificate fake but also exerted pressure on the state institutions including the election commission to keep me out of the electoral arena,” he said. He said he was withdrawing his candidature but his family was very much in the fray as his father, Sheikh Muhammad Akram, had already started his election campaign as a replacement of the PML-N candidate.

He said his family had been “combating terrorist elements both physically and politically” and during the forthcoming election also “we are not going to allow them a smooth sailing.”

He said people would soon see him politically active in a different role assigned to him by his party leadership.

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