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Sharif withdraws nomination papers for parliamentary by-polls

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 18:19

Lahore: Pakistan`s main Opposition PML-N
chief Nawaz Sharif has withdrawn his nomination papers for
next month`s parliamentary by-polls after his party decided
that he can mount greater pressure on the ruling coalition
from outside the House.

Sharif had earlier announced his decision not to
contest the by-polls but the former premier had to withdraw
his nomination papers after his candidature was challenged in
the Lahore High Court.

Freelance journalist Shahid Orakzai filed a petition
in the High Court?s election tribunal on Friday in which he
alleged that after the 1993 general election, Sharif and his
brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, had negotiated
a deal with him to "buy" the votes of seven parliamentarians
from the tribal areas for the election of the speaker of the
National Assembly.

The Court on Tuesday reserved its judgment on Orakzai’s
petition after hearing arguments by lawyers from both sides.

According to PML-N insiders, Sharif decided not to
take part in the forthcoming by-polls from a seat in Lahore
after detailed consultations with party leaders.

Senior PML-N leaders were of the view that Sharif
would not be in a better position to play his cards once he
became a member of the National Assembly or lower house of

"In fact, Sharif is neither fit to be the Leader of
Opposition in the National Assembly nor a mere
parliamentarian," one PML-N leader said.

He said it will "be good for his political career and
the party if he continues mounting pressure on the Pakistan
People’s Party-led coalition government from outside the


First Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 18:19

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