PML-N lawmakers are heading to the assemblies wearing black armbands, not bangles, said Hamza Shehbaz, the party’s nominee for the Punjab chief minister slot.
“I want to tell you all that we are taking oath because we want to see democracy prevail,” he told the media outside the Punjab Assembly in Lahore on Sunday. He said that the elections were marred by rigging.
“Our leader, Nawaz Sharif, was sent to jail in a case in whose verdict the judge himself wrote that no corruption could be proven,” said Hamza. “Today, he is in jail with his daughter Maryam [Nawaz Sharif]. What kind of a match was this where one captain was moving freely while another was jailed?”
According to the PML-N leader, there were 36 constituencies in which the margin of victory was less than the number of rejected votes. “It’s not just the PML-N who is saying this – the PPP, ANP and MQM are all saying this, too,” he said.
A disqualified man flew lawmakers around in his private jet, said Hamza, adding that horse-trading took place in the National Assembly speaker’s election.
“We are going into the assembly with a heavy heart,” he said. “If Pakistan is to progress, these allegations of rigging must be investigated. The nation wants to know how the RTS could fail. Their victory is so stained that it looks like a defeat. You ask a common man and they say the same. We demand a parliamentary commission and 30-day inquiry. We are wearing black armbands, not bangles.”
According to Hamza, the PML-N is still the most popular party of Punjab. “We will not swear standing on a container,” he said. “Instead, we will protest in the assemblies and on the roads.”
He also spoke about his rival, Usman Buzdar. “Usman Buzdar has paid blood money and it’s not me, it’s all the media channels that say this,” he said. “What pains me is that Imran Khan, who used to talk about accountability, stood by him. If Imran Khan is supporting such people, we pray for the country.”