Lahore (Staff Report): Dr Asad Ashraf, an independent candidate supported by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N), on Thursday grabbed victory in the by-election on a Senate seat from Punjab vacated after the disqualification of former senator Nehal Hashmi .

According to unofficial results, PML-N’s Dr Asad Ashraf obtained 298 votes while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur received only 38 votes.

According to a notification issued by the returning officer, the number of valid votes cast for the by-poll was 336. At least 12 votes were rejected, while four provincial lawmakers remained absent.

Ashraf had submitted his papers for the election as a PML-N nominee but was declared an independent candidate after a Supreme Court verdict restrained Nawaz Sharif from heading the PML-N and also set aside all his previous decisions.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had announced the Senate by-election after Hashmi was disqualified last month after being convicted of contempt of court.