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TAXILA: The uncertainty over award of a ticket for NA-63, Rawalpindi VII, by the PML-N has led to the delay in launching of electioneering by the party.

On the other hand, the PTI has already announced to field Mansoor Hayat Khan, son of Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan, for the seat vacated by his father who opted to retain NA-59.

The PTI candidate has launched a campaign and is holding indoor meetings besides meeting local notables.

But all is not well in the camp of the former ruling party. Disgruntled PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who formed his own group after developing differences with the party leadership and contested the July 25 elections, lost both the provincial and one National Assembly seats from Taxila and Wah.

PML-N district Rawalpindi chapter president Sardar Mumtaz Khan contested on the PML-N ticket and also lost. Now Sardar Mumtaz and former MPA Haji Umer Farooq who contested the polls from Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s group are trying to mend fences with the PML-N leadership.

Mr Farooq met former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Adiala Jail on Thursday and requested him to allot the party ticket to him or his nephew Malik Aqeel.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Farooq said he convinced Mr Sharif to award the ticket to him. He said he was waiting for a response from the party leadership as Mr Sharif had assured him of a decision in a few days. When asked what would be his strategy if the party denied him a ticket and preferred Mr Mumtaz, he said he would accept the decision of the party leadership.

Sardar Mumtaz is also optimistic about getting the party ticket. He said he remained loyal to the party and its leadership in difficult times and deserved the ticket.

According to political observers, the delay in award of the ticket is denting the vote bank of the PML-N. The wait and see policy of the PML-N regarding the award of the ticket will prove a political suicide for the party in the by-election, they said.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2018