Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Senator Aurangzeb Khan Orakzai has announced to withdraw his candidature from Senate elections after federal ministers Shibli Faraz and Azam Swati met him on Friday, a private TV channel reported. The meeting was also attended by senators Sajjad Hussain, Mirza Afridi and Naseebullah Bazai. “Aurangzeb Khan has accepted the decision of the prime minister with an open heart … he has always presented the stance of the party with full force,” said Information Minister Shibli Faraz, adding that Aurangzeb is an asset of the party and the party will utilize his services in the future as well. Railways Minister Azam Swati also lauded the senator for accepting Imran Khan’s decision and said that they had called on him to pay tribute to his services. Speaking on the occasion, Aurangzeb Khan said that he supports the vision of the prime minister and all of them should stand by Imran Khan. Meanwhile, PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid challenged the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to reject his nomination papers for the upcoming Senate election. Rashid filed an appeal at the Election Tribunal of the Lahore High Court and a hearing related to the matter will take place on Saturday (today). In his appeal, Rashid stated that the returning officer of the ECP ‘unlawfully rejected the nomination papers’, adding that he was ready to deposit Rs 9.5 million to the administration of the Punjab House as required by the ECP for the purpose but he did not receive the related bank details. A day ago, Rashid’s nomination papers had been rejected by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on allegations that he had defaulted on payments that were to be made to the Punjab House. The Punjab government had released a list of people in 2018 who had not cleared their bills for staying and taking meals at the Punjab House. Rashid was among those who were named in the list. PTI MPA Zainab Omar had filed an objection against Rashid through her lawyer Rana Mudassar to the returning officer/provincial election commissioner in Lahore. Separately, a member of National Assembly claimed on Friday that business magnate-turned-politician Jahangir Khan Tareen has been ‘in touch with PTI lawmakers in Punjab to convince them to vote for the ruling party in the upcoming Senate polls’. Speaking to a private TV channel, PTI MNA Raja Riaz said that Jahangir Tareen is in contact with the ruling party’s MNAs and MPAs not only in South Punjab but throughout the province, asking them to vote for its candidates in the Senate polls scheduled for early March. When asked if Tareen is doing so in a personal capacity or the on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Riaz claimed that the business magnate ‘took up the task on the premier’s request’. Tareen – whose role in the lone general seat of the Senate from Islamabad would be crucial – would draw up his strategy for the Senate elections in the light of the discussions. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday directed all the chief secretaries and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman to ensure presence of any member of National Assembly or provincial assemblies in custody, at their designated polling stations for casting their votes on the Senate polling day on March 3. According to the ECP order, the chief secretaries of governments of Sindh and Punjab, and the NAB chairman have been directed to ensure presence of MNAs Ali Wazir, Shehbaz Sharif, Khursheed Shah and Khawaja Asif and MPA Hamza Shehbaz Sharif at their designated polling stations for casting their votes on the polling day. Earlier, Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian Central Information Secretary and MNA Shazia Atta Marri had said in a statement that letters have been written to both Election Commission of Pakistan and speaker of National Assembly to issue production orders of detained MNA Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah to enable him to exercise his democratic right to vote in the upcoming Senate elections on March 03.