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LAHORE: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says the PML-N will be the winner in the general election despite hurdles.

In any case, he says, the continuous support of workers and leaders to their Quaid Nawaz Sharif clearly indicates the victory of the PML-N.

“Since we all (leaders and workers) are still with Nawaz Sharif at this tough time, we see this situation not less than an election. So we think that the election has been held and the PML-N is the winner,” the ex-PM told Dawn on Saturday.

Mr Abbasi, a PML-N candidate for NA-53 (Islamabad) where he will face PTI chief Imran Khan and NA-57 (Rawalpindi), is of the view that the litigation over his nomination papers’ rejection and acceptance amid disqualification has wasted his precious time and energy.

“A couple of days before, I was disqualified for not being Sadiq and Ameen. Later, I was allowed to contest elections and now I am Sadiq and Ameen. Is there any remedy for me because last four days were wasted in courts through unnecessary litigation?” he questioned.

The situation -- litigation and NAB’s action against the PML-N leaders -- would persist in future too, he said but added that it couldn’t stop the people from voting for the PML-N candidates.

“It will continue. But how it can stop people to voting for us... so we will win despite these hurdles.”

Asked about the reasons behind non-issuance of the party ticket to veteran politician Javed Hashmi, Mr Abbasi said the party was seriously interested in issuing him ticket.

“But the issue was that his (Javed Hashmi) whole constituency had been divided during the delimitation process. Some parts of his old constituency/area were cut and included in Javed Shah’s constituency. Similarly, some went to Sikandar Bosan’s constituency. And the remaining areas were included in the constituency comprising Multan city parts. Despite this fact, we tried hard but eventually failed to issue him ticket,” he explained.

To a question why the party didn’t field him in other constituencies such as Rawalpindi from where he (Mr Hashmi) had contested the elections in the past, the PML-N leader said it was not possible.

“Actually, there is local politics in Rawalpindi and Mr Hashmi’s win from this area looked difficult. But I know that he has no concern with the party over non-issuance of ticket as he has assured us of his support.”

He said Zaeem Qadri and Chaudhry Ghafoor expressed their anger after the party didn’t issue tickets to them. Mr Qadri crossed all limits as did Mr Ghafoor.

“On an average five candidates for each NA constituency had applied for tickets. The party had to decide one of them. So it selected one of the five on merit. But those who couldn’t get tickets expressed annoyance,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2018