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3 main parties' nominees in fray for Prez poll

world Updated: Aug 30, 2008 16:12 IST

With PPP's efforts to strike a deal with PML-N not bearing fruit, candidates of three main parties, including Asif Ali Zardari, on Saturday remained in the fray for the September six presidential poll in Pakistan.

PPP chief Zardari, PML-N nominee Saeed-uz Zaman Siddiqui and PML-Q's Mushahid Hussain Sayed will be the three candidates contesting the elections following the withdrawal of nomination papers by the covering candidates.

Earlier Zardari's peace overtures were rebuffed by PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, who was requested by the ruling PPP chief to withdraw his candidate from the polls.

Faryal Talpur, Zardari's sister who was his covering candidate, said "I have withdrawn my papers in line with the party's decision that Asif Ali Zardari will contest as the presidential candidate."

She claimed Zardari, the co-Chairman of the ruling PPP, is in a strong position and will win the election. "We have comfortable numbers to win the presidential election."

PML-N's overing candidate Roedad Khan also pulled out of the race on the last day of the withdrawal of nomination papers on Saturday.

Senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, meanwhile, accused the Pakistan People's Party of launching a "character assassination" campaign against Siddiqui, a former Chief Justice.

Iqbal pointed out that the PPP had launched a campaign against Siddiqui even though he was often invited to that party's seminars and functions in the past.

"But now all of a sudden, now that (Siddiqui) has been put up as a candidate, they are launching a character assassination campaign against him, which I think is very undemocratic," Iqbal told reporters.