ISLAMABAD - As part of the investigation into the defeat of party candidates from the areas considered to be the stronghold of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the fact-finding committee’s working was in progress and in certain areas, including Rawalpindi, show-cause notices were already served on some party leaders who had violated the party discipline and worked against the party interest.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed The Nation that the party leadership was astonished over the crushing defeat of the party candidates in Rawalpindi and other upper Punjab districts considered as the stronghold of the party.

The committee was also interviewing the party leaders, especially those who were denied party tickets for both national and provincial assembly seats from Rawalpindi to ascertain the causes of party’s defeat in the area.

Sources said that there was a strong voice in the party against unjust award of party tickets and unpopular and new comers were given party tickets by ignoring the diehard party leaders who had stood by the party in every thick and thin and were having strong roots in the masses in their respective areas.

The committee also attributed the delimitation of constituencies as one of the major reason behind the defeat of their candidates as the concentration of PML-N vote-bank was divided through this exercise.

Sources in PML-N informed that during the meeting of party leaders with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in jail he(Nawaz) had expressed his surprise over the massive defeat of PML-N candidates from Rawalpindi where the party bigwigs like former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, scions of Chaudhry Tanvir Khan, Malik Ibrar Ahmad and Raja Javid Ikhlas have to lick the dust despite the fact that in past five years the PML-N government had lavishly spent on the development of Rawalpindi dubbed as mini Riwind.

Those who had lost the elections attributed to their defeat to the infighting and grouping in the party while the committee dealing with the matter also put a portion of blame on the candidates who had not remained in touch with their voters when in power and their indifference toward their electorate was also one major contributing factor to their defeat.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed that the jail PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif during his meeting with PML-N leaders from Rawalpindi had directed them to put in their best to win the seat on which elections could not be held due to the conviction of former MNA Hanif Abbasi.

PML-N had awarded party ticket to Sajjad Khan, who had served as Naib Tahsil Nazim in Musharraf regime and later had joined PML-N from NA- 60 and he would be facing Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate Sh. Rashid Shafique, nephew of Awami Muslim League chief Sh. Rashid Ahmad, who is also holding the portfolio of Federal Railways Minister.

The PML-N local chapter leadership was devising a strategy to fulfil the desire of their jailed Quaid Nawaz Sharif to win this seat and to establish that Rawalpindi still have lot of PML-N followers and the defeat of PML-N candidates from the areas had some other reasons.

On the other hand in the face of very stiff opposition from PTI local chapter, Federal Railways Minister Sh. Rashid Ahmad had decided to field his nephew Sh.Rashid Shafique on the ticket of PTI instead of Awami Muslim League.