LAHORE - PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz has said his party took part in the presidential election as a protest and it had serious reservations about fairness of the last general elections.

“We will not let the PTI government backtrack on an inquiry commission on manipulations and maneuverings in the election,” Hamza told the media at the Punjab Assembly after casting his vote in the presidential election on Tuesday.

Hamza, who is still awaiting notification of his election as Leader of the Opposition from Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi after filing a requisition in this regard on August 25, said the PML-N would force the government to set up the commission so that there is clarity about the issue of vote rigging.

When asked about delay in notification of his election as Leader of the Opposition, he said, he does not care about it. He said his party took part in the presidential election as required by the system otherwise the elections were totally flawed and rigged and the PML-N did not accept the results. He said he learnt through the media that objections had been raised to signatures of 130 PML-N MPAs on the requisition. He said 12 votes of the PML-N were stolen on the day of election for Punjab Assembly speaker’s office. He said the speaker should have adopted a legal course on that, but he did not. However, he said, the PML-N wanted continuation of the democratic journey.

About divisions within the opposition over the name of the joint presidential election, Hamza said, “It would have been better if a consensus candidate was fielded.” He said his party would call a session on this issue.

He said that 14-hour power loadshedding has returned to the country despite the fact that the PML-N overcame this crisis after hectic efforts. He said Imran Khan is seeking three months from the nation to perform in the face of acute loadshedding. He said, “This is new Pakistan which the PTI government talked about building.” He confirmed that he has received a notice from the NAB for appearance in the Saaf Paani Company case.

He said the PML-N would play the role of a responsible opposition. He opposed scrapping the local government system the PML-N government had introduced. He said the PML-N would raise its voice inside in the parliament and knock the door of court against what the government is doing to the system.