What many see as a U-turn, senior politician from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Makhdoom Javed Hashmi submitted nomination papers from two constituencies, NA- 155 and NA-158, in Multan on Tuesday.
Hashmi had earlier announced that since he would not contest elections, he had not submitted nomination papers for any constituency. He had, however, said he would run a countrywide election campaign in favor of PML-N candidates.
The veteran leader said when he had rejoined the PML-N, he had told party supremo Nawaz Sharif that he was not a candidate from any constituency. “Nawaz Sharif requested me to contest in the upcoming polls, but I excused myself,” he said.
When asked why he had now submitted the nomination papers, Hashmi said, “I have submitted nomination papers on the directives of the party leadership.” He said if he was not given a party ticket, he would not contest elections as an independent candidate.
“If Nawaz tells me to contest polls from an assigned constituency, I cannot refuse him,” he told journalists. “It is up to the party leadership to whom they give tickets. Whatever the case, I will run an election campaign to support PML-N candidates,” he added.
Hashmi said he struggled for the country, its people and democracy all his life. “I have been selected MNA 11 times which is a record. Pakistan and all institutions can only progress if democracy flourishes. Democracy is the only way to progress,” he stressed.
Taking a jibe at PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Hashmi said he had given tickets to people who did not even belong to his party. “This is a betrayal to the loyal workers and candidates,” he added.