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LAHORE: The PML-N parliamentary board is considering a proposal that the party’s main leadership — Shahbaz Sharif, his son Hamza and Maryam Nawaz — should contest on at least three National Assembly constituencies in the upcoming polls.

“I have floated a proposal in the parliamentary board that our leadership -- Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shahbaz -- should contest on at least three National Assembly seats. (if) Imran Khan (PTI chairman) is contesting on some four NA constituencies, why not our leadership contest at least on three,” PML-N senior leader and former provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah told Dawn here on Tuesday.

To a question about the possible constituencies from where Shahbaz and Maryam would contest, Mr Sanaullah said: “In addition to Lahore’s, the other constituencies can be of Faisalabad and other parts of the country,” he said.

When asked would the board give Hamza a ticket from Lahore given the cases he was facing and would he return to the country, he said: “Hamza is returning home today and he will contest the election.”

Hamza is facing a National Accountability Bureau probe in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company scam, besides being booked on Supreme Court orders for allegedly torturing and harassing Ayesha Ahad, who claims to be his wife. He had skipped his last appearance before the NAB.

About award of ticket to PML-N senior leader and former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, he said although he (Nisar) did not appear before the board for an interview, “I think the board is willing to award him party ticket. But it is not clear whether he was interested in contesting the July 25 polls from PML-N platform.”

On the other hand, a source says Maryam, who is likely to contest from NA-125 (previously NA-120), from where her mother had won a by-poll, has got conducted a survey to check her party’s popularity graph in the constituency.

“Both Shahbaz and Maryam are getting surveys conducted (in the constituencies) where they plan to contest the polls. On the basis of the (surveys) results both members of the Sharif family will decide whether to contest on more than one NA seats,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz chaired a meeting of the parliamentary board in Model Town on Tuesday and conducted interviews of candidates from Multan and Sahiwal divisions.

Former premiers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi were also present in the meeting.

The board members include Raja Zafarul Haq, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khwaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Mushahidullah Khan, Ghulam Dastgir Khan, Chaudhry Sher Ali, Pervaiz Rashid, Rana Sanaullah Khan, Maryam Nawaz, Rana Tanvir, Barjees Tahir, Saad Rafique, Pervez Malik, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed, Ameer Muqam, Rehman Saleem Khatak, Shah Muhammad Shah, Qadir Baloch, Sanaullah Zehri, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Chaudhry Tanvir, Nuzhat Amir Sadiq, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Yaqoob Nasir, Baleegur Rehman, Saud Majeed, Malik Nadeem Kamran, Arshad Leghari, Saira Afzal Tarar, Saleem Zia and Noorul Hasan Tanvir.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2018