JHANG: Former federal minister and PML-N leader Sheikh Waqas Akram has refused an offer made by the party’s parliamentary board to contest the election from NA-115.

Waqas Akram’s father Sheikh Muhammad Akram had won the 2013 election from the platform of the PML-N.

The father and son duo remained loyal to the PML-N and Waqas was considered very close to the PML-N leadership. The party had nominated Waqas’ younger brother Nawaz Akram for chairmanship of Jhang Municipal Committee and got him elected.

This is viral in the political circles of the district that Waqas was eager to get the ticket of the PTI for which remained in contact with the party for quite some time but the PTI gave preference to Ghulam Bibi Bharwana over him.

Now Waqas is contesting election as an independent candidate as he has a very huge personal vote bank in the constituency.

If he wins the election, he will have the option of joining any party that would form the next govt.

This notion has been very vehemently contradicted by those in the close circles of Waqas who claim that differences between him and Mian Shahbaz Sharif started a few months before the dissolution of the assembly when the then CM did not fulfill his promise of inaugurating the Jhang university project and kept hoodwinking Waqas.

Annoyed at this, Waqas decided not to contest election on the PML N ticket. The sources also denied the rumours that Waqas had applied for a PTI ticket.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2018