ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The election process for the head of the state has formally begun, as presidential hopefuls have start getting nomination papers.
The Election Commission of Pakistan had set July 24 as the last date for submission of nomination forms. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Akram Rabbani and other aspirants have received nomination papers. The forms are available at the offices of the four high courts’ chief justices and the provincial election commissioners.
Meanwhile, the PML-N has reportedly shortlisted six names for its candidate in the upcoming presidential election that is due next month. The PML-N has also formed a high-level committee to contact other political parties to garner their support for its presidential candidate, sources in the party said while revealing details of the consultation meeting of the party, headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The committee consists of Khawaja Asif, Chaudhry Nisar, Shahbaz Sharif, Ahsan Iqbal and Saad Rafique. Sources said that names of Sartaj Aziz, Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, Mamnoon Hussain, Ghaus Ali Shah, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Mehtab Abbasi had been shortlisted for the slot.Sartaj Aziz, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Sardar Mehtab Abbasi belong to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Mamnoon Hussain, Ghaus Ali Shah and Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui are from Sindh.Sartaj Aziz is presently working as the adviser to the prime minister on national security.
Iqbal Zafar Jhagra is the secretary general of the PML-N, while Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi is the opposition leader in the KP Assembly.Ghaus Ali Shah is the PML-N’s Sindh president, while Mamnoon Hussain is the former governor Sindh. Saeeduz Zaman is the former chief justice of Pakistan, and has also contested the last presidential election as a PML-N nominee against President Asif Ali Zardari. Sources, however, pointed out that these names were not final, and had been shortlisted just for deliberations with allied political parties. “Any new name in the list of candidates cannot be ruled out,” a source said, adding that the PML-N might give a ‘surprise’ by nominating an unexpected candidate.
Meanwhile, 10 candidates have collected nomination papers from the Sindh High Court (SHC) and the provincial election commissioner’s office. SHC Registrar told journalists that Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), along with four others, including Irshad Mehboob, Muhammad Shakir, Mustafseer Bukhari, and Muhammad Aslam Khan, received their nomination papers. Moreover, the Pakistan People’s Party nominated Raza Rabbani as its candidate, while the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid fielded Saeed Mandokhel for a shot at the office. – DailyTimes