High-stakes NA-120 contest today

Abbasi says Pakistan replied to Trump’s speech through national security body

Abbasi says Pakistan replied to Trump’s speech through national security body

A close contest is expected between Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid.

The Supreme Court dismissed the review petitions filed by Sharif, his children and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar against the apex court's Panama Papers judgement of 28 July.

The polling for by-election in Lahore's NA-120 constituency has begun at 8am and will continue till 5pm amid stringent security measures.

Extra police personnel would be deployed on polling day at all stations in addition to deployment of Rangers and Army personnel, added police sources.

The PTI and the PPP had questioned validity of over 29,607 votes in the electoral rolls on the basis that the thump impressions of the voters were not present in Nadra record - making it impossible to verify those at the time of balloting.

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's PML-N party is facing its first major political challenge in a by-election widely seen to be a barometre for whether he has managed to maintain support in his political heartland following his dismissal from office.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday served notices to leaders of the ruling PML-N and PTI for spearheading their respective political campaigns before the by-polls in the NA-120 constituency, terming it a violation of the commission's code of conduct.

Kulsoom is in London where she is undergoing treatment for her throat cancer. The PML-N had won all 12 of the total 13 national assembly seats and 26 of 27 PA seats of Lahore in the 2013 election. In her absence, Maryam Nawaz had run her mothers campaign.

Rashid says her contest is not against Kulsoom but the federal and provincial governments of the PML-N and the Sharif family.

The NA-120 by-poll will take place on September 17.

Surprisingly, no candidate of three leading parties has their vote registered in the constituency NA-120 for which they are contesting.

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