LAHORE – Pakistan People’s Party leader and former Ambassador of Pakistan to US, Syeda Abida on Saturday announced to contest as an independent candidate if her party denied her ticket in the next elections.

Abida told media men that she was a leader of the PPP and wanted to contest on the same platform. “I will ask the parliamentary board to grant me the ticket for my constituency and if denied, I will run as independent candidate,” she added. Abida who politically ingrained in Jhang, suggested that the tax evaders should not be allowed to contest the polls while lauding holding of the elections after a democratic government was completing the term. She said media had imparted huge awareness to the people of the political matters and they too were looking forward to holding of the elections. Abida said with confidence that elections will be held on time. While strongly disapproving the display of arms during the election she asked the Election Commission to take strict action against those who violate the code in this regard. She said that she had brought the arms display incidents into the notice of the secretary election commission but no action had been taken so far.

To a question Abida exuded confidence that the PPP voters would vote her since she had been quite close to Benazir Bhutto till her Shahadat. As to her rival, Faisal Saleh Hayat of PML-Q, she said the PPP voters still regard him a turncoat of Musharaf’s era. To a question she said many changes on political canvass would take place with the announcement of the election schedule wherein a number of new faces may appear to altogether alter the situation.

She told a questioner that although constitution provided for extending tenure of the assemblies for one year in a state of emergency and after approval of the National Assembly and the Senate yet the need of the hour was timely elections.

Her spouse Fakhar Imam underscored the need of strictly implementing the code regarding election expenditure and endorsed Abida on keeping the tax evaders out of the election process.