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LAHORE: In what appears to be a publicity prank, a young man from Kasur, a namesake of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has filed nomination papers with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to contest by-election in NA-120, the constituency which fell vacant after Mr Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court.

Looking to quell the confusion, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) reached out to media houses explaining that the former minister prime minister had not filed nomination papers.

It is evident that nomination papers filed by the Kasur-based Sharif will be rejected as he is not eligible to contest elections for a National Assembly constituency. As per the Computerised National Identity Card submitted with the papers, Mr Sharif is 21 years old, while the minimum age limit to become an MNA is 25 years.

Talking to media, the independent candidate said that his father’s name was Muhammad Sharif and his brother had been named after Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Separately, Andleeb Abbas of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) filed her nomination papers as the covering candidate of Dr Yasmin Rashid. Saturday was the last day to file nomination papers with the returning officer (RO) of NA-120.

The RO has sought personal appearance of the PML-N’s candidate Kulsoom Nawaz and Ms Rashid of PTI on Aug 17, for the scrutiny of their nomination papers.

A lawyer, Sarfraz Shah, has filed an objection with the RO challenging the candidature of Ms Nawaz. He said that the PML-N was no longer a registered political party since its chief, Nawaz Sharif, had been disqualified by the Supreme Court. Advocate Shah urged the RO to reject the nomination papers of Ms Nawaz.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2017