Pakistani cricket-hero-turned-politician Imran Khan led in partial results of a general election on Thursday, as the party of his jailed chief rival and ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif PML-N rejected the results as "blatantly" rigged.
The leader of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party gave a live-televised address, a day after tens of millions of people cast their ballots in an election marred by violence. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has said that there are "ample grounds" to doubt the legitimacy of the election, a view echoed by Sharif, who described his arrest as motivated by "blind revenge" and said upon his return to Pakistan "what credibility is now left of the elections?" For years now, he has called for less dependence on the United States, but it remains to be seen how he will manage Pakistan's stormy relationship with Washington, as well as with rivals India and Afghanistan. "We will take action", Yaqoob said. We have to solve Kashmir issue by sitting across the table. "Pakistan is ready to improve its ties with India". "This will be beneficial for both the countries", he added.
"Kashmiris are suffering for long. I felt like a Bollywood villain". "He is a clean and honest person, and we believe he will steer the country out of all problems. Not a one-way relationship as there needs to be balance".
The ECP has summoned the PTI chief on July 30 in relation to the matter.
In contrast to the PML-N, Khan is also against China's huge investment in Pakistan, which has racked up billions of dollars in debt to Beijing.
The PPP also complained that its polling agents were asked to leave during the vote count in a number of voting centres. Khan stated that he envisioned open borders with Kabul reminiscent to those in Europe. "The people of Pakistan will not accept that", Hussain charged without naming the PTI. He was recently embarrassed by a tell-all expose by his former wife Reham Khan. "He won't be able to work without the military". "So my second pledge is to collect and reform taxes".
On the economic front, the probable prime minister said Pakistan was facing governance and economic challenges. "Our government will decide what we will do with the PM House". "Our economy has never been so abysmal. The West is ahead of us purely because of these principles and this must become our guiding principle". Sharif's PML-N party is known for its large-scale infrastructure projects and energy projects that have reduced crippling power cuts. "And for these checks and balances we need strong institutions", he asserted.
"I have not seen this kind of elections during my entire political career".
Around 371,000 Soldiers have been deployed at polling stations across the country, almost five times as many as were deployed during Pakistan's last general election, in 2013. Twitter is abuzz with congratulatory messages for Khan, who is PTI's prime ministerial candidate, but there are many who are already wary of a regime under him.
Late Wednesday, the once-mighty Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which had been in power since 2013, rejected the results because of "outright rigging", and vowed it would use "all political and legal options for redressal of these glaring excesses".
Many experts contend that it will be business as usual whoever wins the election, with the military - which has ruled the country directly or indirectly for much of its 71-year history - remaining Pakistan's de facto ruler. "I especially want to thank the people of Balochistan who despite terrorism came out in huge numbers to vote", he said.