Maryam Nawaz To Contest Elections From Gujranwala PP-63

Maryam Nawaz To Contest Elections From Gujranwala PP-63
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz has decided to contest elections from Gujranwala, while her cousin Hamza Shehbaz has decided to contest elections from three constituencies in Lahore.

According to sources, Maryam Nawaz will contest from the PP-63 constituency, and for this, she has also obtained the election forms for PP-63.

PMLN sources said that Maryam Nawaz's nomination papers will be submitted to the returning officer's office tomorrow.

In 2018 elections, Ashraf Ansari was elected MPA from the PP-63 constituency. Ashraf Ansari was among the disgruntled members of the PMLN and later returned to the party.

On the other hand, PMLN leader Hamza Shehbaz has submitted nomination papers for three constituencies in Lahore: PP146, PP147, and PP163.

Also read: Army Refuses To Spare Personnel For Election Duties

Meanwhile, the fate of provincial elections hangs in the balance as it is still unclear how the security of the process would be ensure.

On March 14, the defense ministry conveyed to the ECP that Pakistan Army troops cannot render election duties during the forthcoming polls in Punjab and KP and would rather safeguard the country and its borders.

According to a press statement, Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Hamood-Uz-Zaman Khan and Additional Secretary Maj Gen Khurram Sarfraz Khan briefed ECP officials on the country’s security situation.

The officials told the electoral authority that the military prioritizes its main duties, which is to safeguard the borders and the country.

"The military isn’t currently available to render election duties in view of the country’s current situation," they said.

They further said that the current economic situation of the country has an impact on the military, too.

It will be the government’s decision to limit the army to its main duties or to deploy them to fulfill their secondary responsibilities, they maintained.

The officials also clarified that in cases of polling duties, the army can be deployed in a quick reaction force mode, rather than in a static mode.

Earlier, the ECP had urgently demanded a budget of Rs 15 billion for conducting elections in Punjab and KP.

CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja presided over a vital meeting, where the electoral body announced that Rs20 billion will be needed for the elections. Only Rs5 billion of this total has been given to the commission thus far, leaving a Rs15 billion gap.

The commission urged the government to swiftly release the required cash so that election preparations can move forward without more hiccups.

To guarantee that money and security would be available, the finance secretary and home secretary were invited to the conference.

ECP told the finance secretary that a staggering Rs65 billion would be needed to conduct general elections throughout the country.

On the other hand, the finance secretary shed light on the challenging economic situation in the country and expressed difficulties in providing the necessary funds.

On March 1, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered that elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa must take place within the next 90 days.