LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has finalised its candidates, including Ishaq Dar, for Senate seats from Punjab, it is learnt

A close aide of former prime minister and party chief Nawaz Sharif told Dawn that those being awarded PML-N ticket against eight general seats are former finance minister Ishaq Dar, former Punjab police IG Rana Maqbool Ahmad Khan, office-bearers of the party’s UK and US chapters Zubair Gul and Shaheen Butt, respectively, Mr Sharif’s spokesperson Dr Asif Kirmani, former senator Haroon Akhtar, industrialist Farooq Khan and Hafiz Abdul Kareem, a leader of the Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith and MNA from Dera Ghazi Khan.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s sister and former senator Saadia Abbasi and MNA Nuzhat Sadiq have been selected against two seats reserved for women, while Federal Minister for Statistics Kamran Michael will represent the party on the seat reserved for minorities.

Adviser to PM Dr Musaddiq Malik, former MNA Naseer Bhutta and Mr Dar’s son Ali Dar will submit their nominations as covering candidates in case candidatures of Ishaq Dar (for being declared a court absconder), Zubair Gul and Shaheen Butt (for being dual nationality holders) are challenged and rejected, the source said.

The candidates were finalised at a consultation held at Model Town here late on Wednesday and attended by Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Senator Pervaiz Rashid and others.

The source said that MNA Hafiz Abdul Kareem was awarded ticket on the promise that he would not interfere in the political scheme being devised by the PML-N for Dera Ghazi Khan district. He said the party was yet to finalise a candidate for the Senate seat that fell vacant when Nihal Hashmi was de-notified as senator following his conviction in a contempt of court case.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2018