Pak: Former PML-N leader Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan to contest polls as Independent

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Rawalpindi [Pakistan], December 16: Pakistan’s former federal minister, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, announced that he will contest the upcoming general elections as an independent candidate, saying that the country’s dignity has been lost due to political leaders and rulers.
In February, Mehtab stepped down as a senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, saying that the party was turning a blind eye to public issues and ignoring workers.
Addressing a workers convention in Malkot on Friday, the former minister said, “Political parties have become political sects. There is revenge in the name of accountability in the country. Improvement cannot be achieved by putting the leaders of a single party in jails.”
He urged voters to pick an honest leadership in the elections that are scheduled next year.
Mehtab said he had stayed away from practical politics for 10 years but couldn’t stay silent after seeing the prevailing situation in the country.
“The country is going through an economic crisis. The common man is distressed. The dignity of the country has been lost because of the rulers. Instead of sitting at home, I decided to return to politics,” he added.
Earlier, hours after a ruling by the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday night issued the election schedule for the general elections that are set to be held on February 8.
The polling process will begin on December 19, when the returning officer (RO) will issue a public notice. The ECP will also resume training for the ROs and district returning officers (DROs).
The election programme also applies to the reserved seats for women and non-Muslims in the national and four provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan.
Notably, the commission issued the election schedule on Friday late at night in line with the Supreme Court’s order.
However, in a setback to the polling process, the Lahore High Court suspended the commission’s notification for the appointment of the ROs and DROs from the executive branch, in violation of the Supreme Court order.

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