Imran Khan said in a video that he won
The United States and the United Kingdom expressed serious concerns about the fairness of Pakistan's parliamentary elections, as former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan both claimed victory without clear results.
Mr Khan, the jailed former prime minister, claimed victory in an audio-visual message created using artificial intelligence hours after rival Nawaz Sharif did.
The US State Department, the UK and the European Union have separately expressed concern over Pakistan's electoral process.
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron raised concerns about the “lack of fairness and inclusiveness” of the elections. The US State Department has called for an investigation into “allegations of election interference or fraud in Pakistan”.
Several US members of Congress echoed the State Department's statements calling for an investigation into the election process.
Despite his imprisonment and his party's ban from elections, independent candidates backed by Khan won more seats in the National Assembly.
Mr Sharif said his party would seek to form a coalition government by pushing back independents. Any party needs 133 seats for absolute majority in Parliament.
Pakistan's army chief, General Asim Munir, said the country needed “steady hands” and a “healing touch” to move on from politics of “anarchy and polarization”.
The UK Foreign Secretary has expressed serious concern over the fairness of Pakistan's elections
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said “serious concerns” had been raised about the “lack of fairness and inclusiveness” of Pakistan's parliamentary elections.
“Authorities must uphold basic human rights, including free access to information and the rule of law,” Mr Cameron posted on X, praising all voters.
“We regret that not all parties were formally allowed to contest the elections, and that legal procedures were used to prevent some political leaders from participating and from using approved party symbols,” he said in a statement.
The foreign minister noted restrictions on internet access on polling day, as well as delays in declaring results and alleged irregularities in vote counting.
“The UK urges the authorities in Pakistan to uphold basic human rights, including free access to information and the rule of law,” he said.
Viswam Shankaran10 February 2024 03:45
Now Imran Khan has said that he has won
Jailed former prime minister Imran Khan claimed victory hours after rival Nawaz Sharif's victory.
In an audio-visual message created using artificial intelligence and shared on his social media account, Khan rejected Sharif's earlier claim of victory.
Khan called on his supporters to celebrate his party's victory despite what he called repression.
Independent candidates backed by Khan won more seats in Thursday's national election, despite his imprisonment and his party's ban from the polls.
Jane Dalton9 February 2024 19:27
A former member of the Pakistan National Assembly was injured in the firing
Former Member of Parliament and National Democratic Movement (NDM) leader Mohsin Thawar has been hospitalized after being injured in a firing incident in Miransha, North Waziristan.
Dawar's party leader Bushra Gohar called for the firing and “arrest of the culprits”.
“I wanted to ask them to make arrangements to shift Dawar and others who were seriously injured to Peshawar,” he said.
Former human rights minister Shireen Mazari also posted on X that the incident was “absolutely reprehensible”.
Viswam Shankaran10 February 2024 10:24
A US Congressman has accused the Pakistan Army of rigging the election
US Congressman Ro Khanna has accused Pakistan's military of “rigging” the country's recent general elections to “give support” to its candidate.
The most important news since the establishment of Pakistan in 1947 comes from Pakistan today. Here's what happens. The army supported the current prime minister but most people in Pakistan voted for Imran Khan,” Mr Khanna said in a video shared on social media.
“The military is basically raging, at least that's the charge, interfering with the election results to prop up their military candidate,” he said, adding that the US should not recognize an “illegitimate government” in Pakistan.
Viswam Shankaran10 February 2024 09:50
Nawaz Sharif says he wants 'better relations with neighbours' after claiming 'victory'
In an early victory speech, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said he hoped to have “better relations with neighboring countries” after forming a new government.
“God willing, we will have better relations with our neighbours,” Mr Sharif said, appearing to be an implicit message to India.
“Our agenda will be to maintain better relations with the world and our neighbours…” he said.
The Election Commission of Pakistan is yet to officially announce the results, saying both candidates backed by Sharif and former prime minister Imran Khan won independently.
Viswam Shankaran10 February 2024 09:15
US Senate Committee Condemns Pakistan Election Bombings
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has condemned the bombings of campaign offices in Pakistan as parliamentary elections are underway.
“I strongly condemn the horrific bombings of election campaign offices in Balochistan and offer my condolences to the victims and their families. These attacks must be investigated and the perpetrators held accountable,” Senator Ben Cardin, the committee's chairman, said in a statement.
“While I applaud those in Pakistan who voted in the electoral process this week, these long-delayed elections were sadly overshadowed by actions that prevented meaningful participation by all political parties and candidates,” he said.
Viswam Shankaran10 February 2024 08:45
Imran Khan granted bail amid alliance talks
Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi have been granted bail by an anti-terrorism court in several cases related to the May 9 riots.
A Rawalpindi court said there was no reason to remand Khan as all the accused in the case had been granted bail.
Independent candidates linked to Mr Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have topped the general election despite several setbacks, including the loss of their election symbol, the cricket bat, and the detention of key party leaders.
However, the election did not emerge a clear winner, with both Mr Khan and trailing candidate former prime minister Nawaz Sharif keen to form a coalition government.
Viswam Shankaran10 February 2024 08:16
Election victory is an indisputable fact, said the Pakistan Foreign Office
Pakistan's foreign office said it was “surprised by the negative tone” of some countries and organizations regarding the general elections.
“These statements ignore the indisputable fact that Pakistan conducted peaceful and successful general elections while dealing with serious security threats resulting from foreign-sponsored terrorism,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
“While we value the constructive suggestions of our friends, it is neither constructive nor objective to make negative comments before the electoral process is over,” it added.
Viswam Shankaran10 February 2024 07:45
Protests were dismissed as unofficial results celebrated by some candidates
A wave of protests erupted in Pakistan's Balochistan after early unofficial results, which some candidates celebrated as victories, were overturned the next day.
According to the official results announced in the province, the previously “winning” candidates fell to second and third places.
This led to almost all major political parties – including the PPP and PML-N – staging sit-ins, Dawn reported.
Viswam Shankaran10 February 2024 07:15
Australia deplores Pakistanis' 'restricted choice' of parties
“All political parties were not allowed to compete,” the Australian government said, saying it was “sad” that Pakistanis had restricted their choice in the election.
“Australia supports a democratic, stable and prosperous Pakistan that upholds its commitment to democratic principles, including human rights, freedom of the media, freedom of expression and freedom of association,” the government said in a statement.
However, the country welcomed the increase in voter turnout and the number of women registered to vote in Pakistan's general election.
Viswam Shankaran10 February 2024 07:04