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Kulsoom Nawaz files nomination papers as PML-N’s candidate for NA-120 by-polls

ISLAMABAD (INP): Asif Kirmani and Captain Safdar filed the nomination papers of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s wife for the upcoming by-poll at the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) Lahore office on Friday.

“Nawaz Sharif’s lions have defeated you in the elections in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and local bodies and cantonment board elections in recent years,” Kirmani said while speaking to the media and party workers after filing the nomination papers. “NA-120 will prove to be Waterloo for Imran Khan and other opponents of Nawaz Sarif,” he warned.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid also submitted her nomination papers in the morning. After filing the papers, Rashid and other PTI leaders met with party supporters in the city’s streets. PTI’s Andleeb Abbas is being fielded as the party’s covering candidate.

The National Assembly seat fell vacant after Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panamagate case on July 28.

The former prime minister had earlier announced his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif’s name as the party candidate. His name was later withdrawn as party members deemed his presence in Punjab too important. Speaking to the media on Friday, Rashid accused PML-N of buying votes in the constituency and attempting to rig the by-polls that will be held on September 17.

When asked about Kulsoom’s candidacy, Rashid said that the difference between them is that she is a “hardworking middle-class woman who will represent the ordinary people of the country,” whereas Kulsoom comes from what her daughter, Maryam Nawaz, has called the “ruling family.”

Rashid said that she had been asking people for votes for eight days on the streets of Lahore, claiming that she had not seen any member of the PML-N doing the same.

Rashid further said that the PML-N was being “forced” to contest the by-election due to Nawaz’s ouster, adding that they should do so on a level playing field without using government machinery. Speaking in regard to Nawaz’s GT Road rally, which entered its third day on Friday, Rashid said that the PML-N had decorated Lahore with banners as part of the preparations to welcome Nawaz home, asking where the money to do so came from.

“If the PML-N has put the banners up for free, can the PTI do the same?” she questioned. PTI leaders speaking to the media said that the rally was a “flop show” and claimed that the PML-N has faced difficulty in bringing their supporters out onto the streets.

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