Estranged PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar on Sunday doubled down on his stance that he has not asked for a party ticket in his 35-year political career and does not intend to do so in the future either.
In a strongly-worded statement, the former interior minister hit out at demands from some PML-N leaders that he appear before the party’s parliamentary board to qualify for a ticket.
“I don’t know why ridiculous dramas are being staged as an excuse to not award me a ticket,” Nisar said in the rejoinder. “As I have previously said, I neither expect their [PML-N] ticket nor do I need it.”
He then addressed “the residents of Jati Umra”, the residence of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, saying they should not “ridicule themselves through childish acts or try to mock me”.
Rubbishing the suggestion that he should apply for a party ticket and then appear before the parliamentary board, he rhetorically asked: “Has it ever happened [in the past] that the party’s senior-most members who have been elected multiple times appear before the board and sit in an interview for the ticket?”
Nisar said he will “openly express” his opinion on the entire matter once he recovers from his illness.
The PML-N stalwart’s onslaught against his party comes a day after former federal information minister Pervaiz Rashid said only those will be considered for award of party tickets who have formally applied for it and are appearing before the board.
Nisar has not yet applied for the party ticket, while the board is set to interview Rawalpindi division candidates on Monday.
Meanwhile, in what could be seen as a taunt directed at Nisar, Maryam Nawaz uploaded a video showing PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif appearing before the parliamentary board to qualify for a party ticket.
Nisar files nomination papers as an independent
Nisar has filed nomination papers to contest the July 25 elections for two National Assembly seats and as many Punjab Assembly seats as an independent, it emerged on Sunday.
The former minister’s nomination papers were submitted by his aides for NA-63 Taxila, NA-59 Rawalpindi, PP-12 and PP-10.
Although Nisar has filed his papers for candidature as an independent, it does not mean there is no likelihood of him being awarded a PML-N ticket.
According to party sources, all PML-N candidates are currently filing papers as independents. By June 25, all parties have to submit final lists of their candidates to the Election Commission of Pakistan, and that will make it clear which aspirants have been awarded the party’s ticket. Those not on the list can go on to contest the poll as independents.
It is therefore possible that Nisar will be allotted a ticket by the PML-N at the eleventh hour. Even then, sources close to the former interior minister told DawnNewsTV he now plans to contest the election as an independent in the wake of growing rifts with the party leadership.