PML-N Infighting On Tickets Threatens To Derail Election Campaign

In the latest episode of Khabar Say Aagay, the infighting on electoral tickets and a messy situation that is emerging for the party in Punjab is spotlighted, developments in the Supreme Court, where Imran Khan's chances of contesting the upcoming elections were ...

PML-N Infighting On Tickets Threatens To Derail Election Campaign

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) appears to be bogged down in the crucial process of awarding tickets, having to juggle the aspirations of key party leaders, senior political workers, new entrants and seat adjustment with political allies such as the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) are proving to be a real challenge. 

This was discussed during Naya Daur TV's latest episode, Khabar Say Aagay

PML-N infighting on tickets

Dawn reporter Zulqernain Tahir said that several camps exist in the PML-N, and each one is competing with the other for tickets. 

Tahir, who reported that former Punjab chief minister Hamza Shahbaz had complained that PML-N workers were being ignored in the distribution of tickets, said that Hamza was irked at how the five names he had provided for the priority list for reserved seats for women were either ignored or those included were placed lower in the priority list, ascribing a lower chance for them to get selected. This is causing resentment.

The biggest problem Hamza has, Tahir said, was that Maryam Nawaz has prepared the listsin consultation with former federal minister Anusha Rehman, with the two having grown quite close. On this, Hamza believes that if these two have to make the decisions, then what is the need for others?

Tahir said that awarding tickets is the most crucial moment in the electoral process. One complication is the new delimitation, which has merged areas which overlap constituency boundaries for candidates who have won previously.

One conflict arising out of this is the seat of former NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq. Then there is the case of Shahista Pervaiz Malik, who won two seats previously.

Then, there is the issue of adjusting seats with IPP. With Maryam Nawaz contesting either NA-119 or NA-120, the other seat will go to Ayaz Sadiq or Naveed Asghar, but it leaves little space to adjust Aleem Khan.

He said that while Aon Chaudhry has good ties with Shehbaz Sharif, he has put up posters in parts of Lahore. Still, he has not mentioned whether he is contesting from the platform of IPP or PML-N.

About the pulse of voters, Tahir tellingly said that if the PTI was not ahead, you would see the opponents campaigning on the ground. Candidates like Saiful Muluk Khokhar would have his people on the ground because no one stopped him from campaigning. On the other hand, PTI is not being allowed to campaign.

PML-N appears to be looking for some external signal. He said that when he asked a PML-N member about tickets, he complained that something would happen if Nawaz Sharif got out of marathon parliamentary board meetings. What is so wrong that you are putting your heads together like this, he asked.

There is also the issue of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari contesting from Lahore with an understanding between the parties in the past that whenever the head of a party contests from a constituency, other parties would not put up a candidate from that constituency, but it remains to be seen what happens.

PTI and the courts

Naya Daur TV's Supreme Court Reporter Syed Sabihul Hussnain said that as routine cases were being heard by a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Athar Minallah, Sardar Latif Khosa took to the rostrum and asked the court to look into the contempt petition filed by the party and the issue of nomination papers being snatched and harassment of PTI candidates. At this, Justice Masood remarked that they have not received a formal complaint on this, that a complaint sent via WhatsApp to the Supreme Court secretary does not warrant any action and that a formal complaint needs to be filed.

In the Toshakhana case, Justice Minallah remarked that the matter is pending before a two-judge bench of the high court and that they cannot suspend that process until the appeal there is decided. He added that even if it is affixed for hearing and suspends the judgement but the high court restores the sentence, then what? He added that it is settled law until the main appeal is decided and a sentence is overturned; disqualification cannot be overturned. 

Hussnain said that with regard to Imran Khan, the Supreme Court does not appear to be in any kind of a mood for an adventure. It is now certain that for the general elections 2024, Imran Khan will remain disqualified and unable to participate because the 'good to see you' SC no longer exists.

On Shah Mehmood Qureshi's arrest from Adiala Jail, Hussnain said that the detention order against the PTI vice chairman was withdrawn, and he was arrested in an FIR registered in RA Bazaar, where he is accused of attacking the army's General Headquarters (GHQ), and he will likely be presented before an anti-terror court, and there is a possibility that Qureshi will likely face trial before military courts.