LAHORE: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has decided to run for the next general election since NA-117 Nankana Sahib-I, reliable sources confirmed to News Bowl Friday.
According to sources familiar with the development, Sarwar has held meetings with the Arain community and other castes in the constituency in recent days. The governor is also believed to have secured funds for the establishment of water filtration plants, improvement of road infrastructure and other development work in the constituency.
Governor Sarwar also promised residents of the regions that in the second phase, by January, Sehat Insaf cards will be issued to residents of the constituency. He also promised that during this period, steps will be taken to provide the best health facilities for people suffering from hepatitis and other illnesses.
Sources revealed that Sarwar is making every effort to solve the basic problems of the constituency.
The governor of Punjab also organized a free observation camp for residents of Shahkot region constituency, where people received free treatment.
Sarwar also recently held a meeting with Federal Minister of Narcotics Control Brigadier (ret’d) Ijaz Ahmed Shah in this regard, in which he told the latter that he would run in the next general election from Nankana Sahib. He had sought advice from the minister when Shah won the election against NA-118 Nankana Sahib-II.
According to political insiders, MPA Muhammad Atif, who was elected in PP-132, a provincial assembly constituency that reports to NA-117, received the party ticket from Governor Sarwar ahead of the 2018 general election. He is also from the Arain community which is very influential in the constituency and is currently handling the ongoing development work in NA-117.
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Will Governor Sarwar be able to emerge victorious?
According to constituency political experts, winning will remain a daunting task for the governor despite spending billions of dollars in constituency development and infrastructure.
âIt will not be easy for Sarwar to defeat the veteran leader of the PML-N and former federal minister Chaudhry Muhammad Barjees Tahir of this constituency who emerged victorious in the general elections of 2008, 2013 and 2018 and Tariq Mehmood Bajwa, an independent candidate “, A political insider from the region said News Bowl.
In the 2018 elections, PML-N leader Muhammad Barjees Tahir emerged victorious from this constituency after obtaining 71,891 votes, followed by independent candidate Tariq Mehmood Bajwa. Bajwa won 68,995 votes and Chaudhry Bilal Ahmed Virk, who stood for election on the PTI list, came third with 66,994 votes.
In the 2008 and 2013 elections, Barjees, a loyalist and PML-N veteran, won with 46, 739 and 82,150 votes respectively.
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Two years of ban for the governor?
Opinions in the legal fraternity diverge as to whether Sarwar can run in the next general election or whether it is mandatory for him to wait two years after taking a government post.
According to legal experts, this is a controversial subject that could be dealt with conclusively by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Legal experts are also not on a page because they are not sure whether a provincial governor’s duty falls within the definition of “service to Pakistan”.
According to the said law, any person classified as “Pakistan service” cannot stand for any election for two years after leaving office or post.
However, Sarwar has repeatedly asserted that the Constitution does not prohibit him from running for office and that he does not have to wait two years after leaving office to stand for election.
At a recent meeting in his constituency, the governor also expressed that the government will make Nankana Sahib an exemplary district for the rest of Pakistan.