Imran Khan claimed victory in a video
The US and Britain raised serious concerns about the fairness of Pakistan’s parliamentary elections, as former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan both claimed victory with no clear results in sight.
Imprisoned former Prime Minister Khan claimed victory in an audiovisual message created with the help of artificial intelligence, hours after rival Nawaz Sharif did.
The US State Department, the United Kingdom and the European Union separately expressed concerns about the election process in Pakistan.
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron expressed concern about the “fairness and lack of inclusiveness” of the election. The US State Department called for an investigation into “allegations of election interference or fraud in Pakistan.”
Several US lawmakers also echoed State Department statements calling for an investigation into the election process.
Independent candidates backed by Khan won the most seats in the National Assembly, despite him being imprisoned and his party barred from the ballot box.
Sharif said he would try to form a coalition government after his party defeated independents. For a simple majority, each party needs 133 seats in parliament.
Pakistani army chief Gen. Asim Munir said the country needs “steady hands” and a “healing touch” to leave the politics of “anarchy and polarization” behind.
The British Foreign Secretary expresses ‘serious concerns’ about the ‘fairness’ of the elections in Pakistan
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said “serious concerns” have been raised about the “fairness and lack of inclusiveness” of Pakistan’s parliamentary elections.
“Authorities must uphold basic human rights, including free access to information and the rule of law,” Cameron wrote on X, applauding all voters.
“We regret that not all parties were formally allowed to participate in the elections and that legal processes were used to prevent some political leaders from participating and to prevent the use of recognizable party symbols,” he said in a statement.
The foreign minister also noted restrictions on internet access on election day, as well as delays in reporting results and claims of irregularities in the counting process.
“The UK urges the authorities in Pakistan to uphold fundamental human rights, including free access to information and the rule of law,” he said.
Vishwam SankaranFebruary 10, 2024 03:45
Now Imran Khan claims victory
Imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan has claimed victory, hours after rival Nawaz Sharif did.
In an audiovisual message created using artificial intelligence and shared on his social media account, Khan dismissed Sharif’s earlier claim of victory.
Khan called on his supporters to celebrate the victory achieved despite what he called a crackdown on his party.
Independent candidates backed by Khan won the most seats in Thursday’s national election, despite him being in prison and his party barred from the polls.
Jane DaltonFebruary 9, 2024 7:27 PM
Former member of Pakistan National Assembly injured during dismissal
Former MP and National Democratic Movement (NDM) leader Mohsin Dawar has been taken to a hospital after he was injured in a firing incident in North Waziristan’s Miranshah.
Dawar’s party leader Bushra Gohar demanded an investigation into the dismissal and the ‘arrests of the perpetrators’.
“I also wanted to ask them to make arrangements for transferring Dawar and others who were seriously injured to Peshawar,” she said.
Ex-Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari also posted on X that the incident was “completely reprehensible.”
Vishwam SankaranFebruary 10, 2024 10:24 am
The US congressman accuses the Pakistani army of ‘rigging’ the elections
US Congressman Ro Khanna has alleged that the Pakistani military ‘rigged’ the country’s just-held general elections to ‘support’ its candidate.
“There’s a huge amount of news out of Pakistan today, the most dramatic news since the country’s founding in 1947. This is what’s happening. The army had supported the current Prime Minister but most people in Pakistan voted for Imran Khan,” Khanna said in a video shared on social media.
“The military has in fact gone on a rampage, or at least that is the accusation, and manipulated the election results to interfere with supporting their military candidate,” he said, adding that the US should not have an “illegitimate government” in Pakistan acknowledge.
Vishwam SankaranFebruary 10, 2024 09:50
Nawaz Sharif says he wants ‘better relations with neighbours’ after claiming ‘victory’
In a premature victory speech, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he hoped for “better relations with neighbors” after the formation of the new government.
“God willing, we will have better relations with our neighbors,” Sharif said, in what appeared to be an indirect message to India.
“Our agenda will be to have a better relationship with the world and our neighbors…,” he said.
Pakistan’s Election Commission has not yet officially announced the results as both Sharif and candidates backed by ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan independently claimed victory.
Vishwam SankaranFebruary 10, 2024 09:15
The US Senate committee condemns the bombings during the elections in Pakistan
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee condemned the bombings of campaign offices in Pakistan during the country’s parliamentary elections.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the deadly bombings at election campaign offices in Balochistan and extend my condolences to the victims and their families. These attacks must be investigated and the perpetrators must be held accountable,” Senator Ben Cardin, chairman of the committee, said in a statement.
“While I appreciate those in Pakistan who cast their votes in the electoral process this week, these long-awaited elections were unfortunately overshadowed by actions that prevented the meaningful participation of all political parties and candidates,” he said.
Vishwam SankaranFebruary 10, 2024 08:45
Imran Khan has been granted bail as coalition talks continue
An anti-terror court has granted bail to Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in multiple cases related to the May 9 riots.
The Rawalpindi court said there was no reason to keep Mr Khan in custody as all suspects in the cases have been granted bail.
Independent candidates linked to Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have come out on top in the general election despite several hurdles, including the loss of their electoral symbol – a cricket bat – and the detention of key leaders of the party.
However, no clear winner has emerged from the election, with both Mr Khan and the chasing candidate, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, aiming to form a coalition government.
Vishwam SankaranFebruary 10, 2024 08:16
The success of the elections is an ‘undeniable fact’, says Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said it was “surprised by the negative tone” of some countries and organizations regarding the general election.
“These statements ignore the undeniable fact that Pakistan has held general elections, peacefully and successfully, while at the same time facing serious security threats emanating primarily from foreign-sponsored terrorism,” the State Department said in a statement declaration.
“While we appreciate constructive advice from our friends, making negative comments even before the completion of the election process is neither constructive nor objective,” it added.
Vishwam SankaranFebruary 10, 2024 07:45
Protests as unofficial results celebrated by some candidates were quashed
A wave of protests erupted in Pakistan’s Balochistan when the first unofficial results, celebrated as victories by some candidates, were overturned the next day.
The previous ‘winning’ candidates fell to the second and third positions, as shown by the official results announced in the province.
This led to almost all major political parties – including the PPP and PML-N – staging sit-ins, Dawn reported.
Vishwam SankaranFebruary 10, 2024 07:15
Australia expresses regret over Pakistanis’ ‘limited choice’ of parties
The Australian government said it was unfortunate that the people of Pakistan were limited in their choice in the elections because “not all political parties were allowed to participate.”
“Australia supports a democratic, stable and prosperous Pakistan that fulfills its commitments to democratic principles, including human rights, media freedoms, freedom of expression and freedom of association,” the government said in a statement.
However, the country welcomed the turnout in Pakistan’s general elections and the increase in the number of women registered to vote.
Vishwam SankaranFebruary 10, 2024 07:04