The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Sunday claimed that a ticket holder for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had decided to withdraw from elections in Lahore in favour of the party's senior vice president Maryam Nawaz. The story was widely reported. However, many were quick to point out that the individual mentioned was not a party ticket holder.
The Friday Times looked into the claims to do a fact check on whether this was true or not.
The PML-N on Sunday claimed that Mehar Muhammad Waseem, a PTI ticket holder for the National Assembly constituency NA-119, had decided to withdraw after meeting with Maryam Nawaz and that union council chairmen, vice chairmen, Zakat Committee chairmen and other party office holders had decided to join the PML-N and will formally announce the change in party affiliation in the January 25 rally.
لاہور:21 جنوری— PMLN (@pmln_org) January 21, 2024
قومی اسمبلی کے لاہور سے حلقہ این اے 119 میں مسلم لیگ (ن) کے لئے بڑا بریک تھرو
پی ٹی آئی کے قومی اور صوبائی اسمبلی کے امیدوار اورحامی مسلم لیگ (ن) کے حق میں دستبردار
پی ٹی آئی کے ٹکٹ ہولڈر مہر محمد وسیم اپنے ہزاروں کارکنوں سمیت مسلم لیگ (ن) میں شامل
When The Friday Times cross-checked the claims, it was discovered that the PTI did not award any ticket to a "Mehar Muhammad Waseem".
In the list of tickets issued for the Punjab Assembly (PP), the PTI had two awardees from Lahore named 'Mehar'. The first was a 'Mehar Sharafat' from PP-158 Lahore-XV. The second was 'Mehar Wajid' from PP-171 Lahore-XXVIII.
In the list of tickets for the National Assembly, the party listed a Khawaja Shahzad Farooq for NA-119 - the brother of Mian Abid Farooq — wanted for his alleged involvement in May 9 incidents; Maryam is also a candidate in this constituency.
Elsewhere, a 'Mehar Khalid' was awarded a ticket for NA-94 Chiniot-II and a 'Mehar Bano Qureshi' from NA-151 Multan-IV, a 'Mehar Sajjad Cheena' from NA-186 DG Khan-III.
In fact, of the 19 candidates in Maryam Nawaz's constituency of NA-119, the list of candidates published by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) does not carry the name "Mehar Muhammad Waseem" or even a "Muhammad Waseem".
In the 14 national assembly constituencies of Lahore, no "Mehar Muhammad Waseem" was listed as contesting the elections (whether on a party ticket or as an independent).
In the 30 provincial assembly seats, Muhammad Waseem Amir Malik was listed as an independent candidate from PP-146 Lahore-II.
From PP-159 Lahore-XV, an independent candidate named "Mehar Sharafat Ali" was listed by the ECP as a candidate. Maryam Nawaz is a contestant for the provincial assembly from the same constituency.
In PP-166 Lahore-XXII, an independent candidate named "Waseem Amin" has been listed. Similarly, in PP-167 Lahore-XXIII, independent candidate "Waseem Munir" has been listed.
The PML-N has awarded a ticket to a "Mehar Isthiaq Ahmad Anwar" from PP-171 Lahore-XXVII.
Some claimed that Mehar Muhammad Waseem was a candidate in the 2018 elections.
مہر وسیم تحریک انصاف کے 2018 الیکشن کے ٹکٹ ہولڈر تھے، اس حلقے پر پارٹی ٹکٹ کا مسئلہ تھا اور پارٹی نے دو دن پہلے تک ٹکٹ pending رکھا، ٹکٹ نہ ملنے پر اج مہر وسیم ن لیگ میں شامل ہوگئے https://t.co/cD9lm8ibBt— Zahid Gishkori (@ZahidGishkori) January 21, 2024
In the 2018 elections, there was no candidate from Lahore with the name "Mehar Muhammad Waseem" in the national assembly. In the provincial assembly, a "Mehar Imran" was listed as a candidate from PP-152 Lahore-IX, who contested as an independent and secured just 126 votes.
No candidate named Mehar Muhammad Waseem is listed either as a contesting candidate by any party or as an independent for the upcoming elections. Moreover, for those who claimed such an individual was a ticket holder in the 2018 general elections, no evidence is found either.
There is, however, a Mehar Sharafat whose name appears in the PTI lists as well as in the ECP lists.
This story requires greater clarification on who the individual mentioned is.
Hence, the claim that a PTI ticket-holder for the 2024 general elections had withdrawn in favour of Maryam Nawaz is incorrect.