LAHORE PML-N chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is learnt to have decided not to contest NA-123 election on March 10. Whether the move is a prelude to retreat after defeat in Mansehra or there are some political factors involved, things will be unfolded in coming days. Sources in PML-N revealed that the party would make formal announcement in this regard soon. The sources said that Nawaz Sharif discussed the matter with party stalwarts to seek their opinion and got the feedback that he should not contest the by-polls. In voting process over the decision, it was suggested to him that should withdraw his nomination papers. Sources said that decision had been taken, keeping in view the fact whether the party chiefs presence in parliament was at all required and whether he could play any worthwhile role in the legislature. However, political experts were of the view that Nawaz Sharif would never contest the run-off polls from NA-123 in the context of embargo vis-a-vis becoming third time prime minister in the light of 17th Amendment. Unless the constraint remains alive, there is no meaning of participating in the elections, they opined. One of other reasons impeding Nawaz to jump into the context is believed to be 10-year deal struck by PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif with former dictator Pervez Musharraf with the guarantee of Saudi Arabia. This deal seems to be so binding that now PML-N doesnt talk tough about the trial of Musharraf and there is talk is on that Nawaz Sharif will not contest election from NA-123 because the KING has admonished him, political pundits pointed out. They said Nawaz Sharif was, some months ago, a popular leader in Pakistan, infact the most popular leader. His disinterest in the national politics, his biweekly visits to Dubai, Saudi Arabia and London, and his confinement to the Raiwind, neglect of other parts of Pakistan has deflated his popularity balloon pretty much badly and he is not in a position to contest the polls. It may be recalled that around 60 candidates have come up to contest NA123. As per election schedule, candidates would submit their nomination paper till February 4, 2010. The scrutiny would be done from February 6 to February 8. The candidates could withdraw their nomination papers till February 17. Election symbol will be awarded on the same day. Final list for the contesting candidates will be displayed on February 18. Polling will be held on March 10. By-polls for NA-123 seat, vacated by PML-Ns Javed Hashmi, could not be held in June 2008, as one of the contestants challenged candidature of Mr Sharif, the chief of his own faction of the Muslim League. The case was eventually decided in favour of Mr Sharif and the Election Commission decided to hold by-polls on Nov 7, but the Punjab government moved the Lahore High Court against the electoral exercise on the plea that the commission did not hear its point of view on the security situation. The polls were delayed as the court directed the commission to hear the Punjab government before giving any schedule for by-polls in the province. The LHC orders were overturned by the apex court.