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LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is set to repeat its old-timers across Punjab except a few constituencies in Lahore for the July 25 vote.

The parliamentary board has almost completed interviews of ticket seekers for all Punjab divisions.

However, those vying for the National and Punjab Assembly seats from the provincial capital, considered the citadel of the PML-N for the last three decades, have been invited for an interview-cum-meeting at the Model Town offices of the party on Sunday (today).

“In most of the constituencies throughout the province we are preferring those for award of tickets who had contested from the party’s platform in the 2013 election and remained steadfast to its ideology and discipline particularly after the ouster of prime minister Nawaz Sharif,” a senior leader involved in the process of award of tickets told Dawn on Saturday.

Asks Nisar to adopt formal procedure for ticket

Party loyalists will be preferred in choosing candidates for the constituencies where old contestants have ditched the party and joined rival outfits, he said, adding that reports in this respect have already been obtained from relevant district PML-N bodies.

According to him, the hopefuls for Lahore seats will be interviewed on Sunday and new faces are likely to be introduced for a couple of National and Punjab Assembly seats.

The official claimed that Maryam Nawaz is likely to contest for a seat other than NA-125 as Nawaz Sharif has asked his daughter to build her own constituency for establishing her credentials as an independent political figure. Maryam has obtained nomination papers for NA-127 also.

The official claimed that Salman Shahbaz, son of ex-CM Shahbaz Sharif and younger brother of ex-MNA Hamza, is also making his debut in the politics and has been asked to choose a constituency in the suburbs of Lahore instead of any from the Walled City or old Lahore area.

He has been given the option to choose by-election for his debut should he need more time for preparations in case of a suburban constituency.

Nisar may not get party ticket

Estranged PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar may not get party ticket if he does not appear before the parliamentary board.

Former federal information minister Pervaiz Rashid says only those will be considered for award of party tickets who have formally applied for it and are appearing before the board.

Chaudhry Nisar has not yet applied for the party ticket, while the board is set to interview Rawalpindi division candidates on Monday.

It is learnt that party president Shahbaz Sharif, along with his son Salman Shahbaz, visited Nisar in Rawalpindi on Saturday to make a last-ditch effort to convince the politician from Chakri to adopt the formal procedure for getting the party ticket.

“All top leaders irrespective of their party offices, including party supremo Nawaz Sharif when he was qualified to contest polls, have been and are following the formal procedure and appearing before the parliamentary board to qualify for the party ticket,” Mr Rashid told the media at an event organised by Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Muhammad Mehdi.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2018