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Published On: Thu, Jul 26th, 2018

We are ready to better things with India says PM in waiting Imran Khan

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Pakistan-parliament-elections-2018-Imran-Khan-994327NEW DELHI : Imran Khan appears on the cusp of leading his country in government, 26 years after he led it on the cricket field.
The former Pakistan captain and all-rounder is well ahead in unofficial results from the country’s general election and forecast to pick up around twice the seats of his party’s closest rival.

Preliminary voting results in Pakistan showed the party of former cricket star Imran Khan was poised late Wednesday to come into power for the first time, upending the political landscape in the fragile democracy. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was performing far better than predicted by pre-election polls, which showed the party marginally in front of the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

A victory for Khan’s party would break Pakistan’s two-party system and become a new force in national politics. He has promised to clean up corruption and provide better education, health and other public services. While he may still not have enough for an outright majority without coalition partners, and with rival parties saying they reject the results, he appears on course to be prime minister of the 210 million-strong, nuclear-armed nation.

Cricket hero-turned-politician Imran Khan is leading in projected partial results of the general elections, as the party of his jailed chief rival, ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N, rejected the eventual result as “blatantly” rigged. Khan’s camp is increasingly getting confident, but still appears likely to fall short of a clear majority in the Pakistan National Assembly. Full results are expected later in the morning.

Meanwhile, as results kept trickling in, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani lost to PTI’s Mohammad Ibrahim in Multan’s Shujabad constituency. Asad Murtaza Gilani, former PM’s nephew, won the seat in 2002. Murtaza died during a stampede while on Hajj in 2015, following which Gilani decided to fight from the seat.

According to local media, some political observers believed that Gilani would look for sympathy votes in Murtaza’s name. However, his attempt seems to have gone in vain with Imran Khan’s PTI inching close to form the next government in Pakistan. On the other hand, Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed seems to have been rejected by Pakistani voters as none of the candidates associated with extremism in past have leads.706857-pak-celebration
Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly. Addressing the nation from Islamabad amid rivals’ raucous allegations of rigging and army backing, Mr Khan said, “This is my chance to fulfill my dreams for Pakistan, thank God”. The PTI has won 76 of the 272 seats and is leading in 43. Mr Khan’s closest rival, jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or PML-N has won 43 seats and is leading in 20. A party needs 137 seats for a majority.
On the subject of resolving the highly contested issue of Kashmir, Imran Khan said, “If the leadership of India is willing, we are fully ready to improve our relations. You come one step towards us, we step forward two steps. But we need you to take the first step at least. As of now, it is only a one-sided relationship where Pakistan is blamed. At present, any terrorist activity that happens in the world is blamed on Pakistan. I say with conviction, it is important for the subcontinent that friendship happens between the two nations. I want that we solve our issues through dialogue.”
PTI has established a huge lead, it is still short of the majority mark of 137 and may have to look for allies among the smaller parties and independents. The party’s supporters have already hit the streets to celebrate the single largest party status.With counting taking place in fits and starts through the night, five parties alleged blatant rigging.
Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, called this the “dirtiest election” he has ever seen. The results of several constituencies have been withheld where PML-N candidates were winning,” Shahbaz Sharif said, promising action.An Election Commission official said the final results had been delayed by technical failures. “There’s no conspiracy, nor any pressure in delay of the results. The delay is being caused because the result transmission system has collapsed,” secretary Babar Yaqoob told reporters.
The Election Commission attributed the delay to technical troubles.Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) led by led by Bilawal Bhutto, the son of assassinated two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, won 18 seats and its candidates were leading in 19 seats. The rest are reserved for women and religious minorities, who are selected through proportional representation. A party can form the government if it gets 172 seats in total. A single party will need at least 137 of the directly elected seats to form the government.
Pakistan went to polls yesterday in a rare democratic transition of power in its coup-studded history. It was the second civilian transfer of power. The army, which ruled the nuclear-armed nation for most of the last 70 years, still sets its security and foreign policy.The elections, however, took place under allegations of manipulation by the army and concerns over participation of terrorist and radical groups. There was a total blackout of information as no Indian or foreign journalist were given visa to cover the elections.
An unprecedented 460 candidates from terrorist and radical groups are in the fray, which has raised concerns in India. The leading among them are candidates from Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led banned outfit Jamat-ud Dawa. Saeed’s son and son-in-law are contesting the elections.
More than 30 political parties fielded candidates for the elections to the 272 seats of the National Assembly; 8,396 candidates are running for 577 seats in four provincial assemblies — Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.(With Agency Inputs ).

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