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SAHIWAL: The Rai Hasan Nawaz camp is undecided about the future course of action regarding his disqualification as MNA from Chichwatni.

His immediate family members informed Dawn on Wednesday the final decision would be taken on his return from abroad.

Currently performing Umra, Rai is expected to return on Sunday. He was disqualified by the Multan election tribunal on Tuesday for concealing his assets on a writ petition filed by PML-N-backed independent candidate Haji Muhammad Ayub.

The writ petition had claimed Rai Hasan was a bank defaulter of Rs870 million when he filed his nomination paper as PTI candidate from NA-162.

Rai Hasan Nawaz was the only PTI candidate who won from Sahiwal although the party went for four seats in the district. This correspondence talked to Rai’s immediate family members Rai Murtaza who said they had not yet received the election tribunal order.

“The final decision will be taken on Rai Sahib’s return but we are likely to move an appeal in the Supreme Court,” he further added.

Family sources said in case Rai Hasan Nawaz did not move court or his appeal was rejected by the higher judiciary, either Rai Murtaza (maternal nephew) or Rai Azizullah (brother-in-law and ex-MNA) would contest the seat.

“The Rais cannot afford to let this seat go to anyone else from Chichawatni. This is their ancestral seat,” the source said.

On the other hand, the PML-N is celebrating the ‘victory’ of Haji Muhammad Ayub. Mr Ayub was warmly welcomed by PML-N on his return from Multan on Tuesday. PML-N office-bearers distributed sweets in all main bazaars of Chichawatni.

During the 2013 election, the PML-N had awarded NA-162 ticket to Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal, a PPP dissident, but he was not allowed to contest election at the 11th hour because of the dual nationality issue.

The PML-N then backed Haji Ayub, the covering candidate of Zahid Iqbal, who contested as an independent since Iqbal had been allotted party’s election symbol ‘lion’.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2015

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