Pakistan Election Results Live Updates: "Want To Fix India-Pak Ties," Says Imran Khan

Pakistan election results live updates: Pakistan's top election official batted away allegations of ballot-rigging. Imran Khan's party is leading, while Nawaz Sharif's party PML-N has accused of rigging

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Pakistan Election Results Live Updates: 'Want To Fix India-Pak Ties,' Says Imran Khan

Pakistan Election Result: The contest is between Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan and Bilawal Bhutto's parties

New Delhi / Islamabad: 

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan is on the verge of victory after millions of Pakistanis voted on Wednesday to elect a new government. In his first address to Pakistan after getting massive lead, Imran Khan talked of several key issues facing the nation including poverty and health issues. He also referred to the relations with China and India saying the country could follow China's example in many ways. He also said he was keen to fix ties with India. 

The tense general election in Pakistan was marred by allegations of military interference and a series of deadly attacks. Up to 8 lakh police and military forces were stationed at more than 85,000 polling stations across the country as the voting took place. Wednesday's election was only the second democratic transition of power in Pakistan's 70-year coup-studded history. Pakistan is a country of approximately 207 million people, out of which the number of registered voters are about 106 million. 

More than 3,000 candidates are contesting for 272 general seats of the National Assembly, while some 8,000 candidates ran for 577 general seats of the four provincial assemblies - Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Pak-occupied Balochistan. The three key parties contesting were former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) or PML-N, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or PTI, and former (late) prime minister Benazir Bhutto's party Pakistan Peoples Party, which is being headed by her son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The contest is said to be a close one between Nawaz Sharif's party and Imran Khan's party. The counting of votes began soon after polling was concluded and results are expected to be announced within 24 hours. The Election Commission has blamed delays in the results on technical failures and promised to investigate complaints. 

Here are the LIVE updates of the Pakistan General Election Result 2018:


Jul 26, 2018
21:07 (IST)
 Imran Khan's party is leading in 120 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies. Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was ahead in 61 constituencies, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by Bilawal Bhutto, the son of assassinated two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, led in 40 constituencies.
Jul 26, 2018
20:54 (IST)
Final results will come out within 24 hours. There is no delay. 90 per cent of results have been announced by Returning Officers in the field. we have received 82 per cent out of it: Election Commission of Pakistan
Jul 26, 2018
20:53 (IST)
"Free and fair elections have been conducted. Turnout has been impressive, we will share the numbers tomorrow," Election Commission of Pakistan said today, news agency ANI reported
Jul 26, 2018
20:52 (IST)
Jul 26, 2018
18:03 (IST)
Cleanest Election In History Of Pakistan: Imran Khan
"400 petitions on rigging were filed after previous polls. I had vouched for the issue to be addressed for clean polls this time. We would assist and help investigate claims of rigging": Imran Khan
Jul 26, 2018
18:01 (IST)
"If India Moves One Step Forward, We Will Move Two": Imran Khan
Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan also referred to India-Pak ties as he addressed Pakistan. Here are highlights
  • "I really want to fix the India-Pakistan ties through dialogue"
  • "The main issue between us is Kashmir but blame game can't continue forever" 
  • "Because of cricket, I want better ties with the neighbour country"
  • "If India moves one step forward, we will move two"


Jul 26, 2018
17:57 (IST)
"Potrayed Like The Way Indian Media Portrayed Me," Says Imran Khan
"I am little disappointed by the way Indian media has portrayed me like a Bollywood villain": Imran Khan

Jul 26, 2018
17:55 (IST)
"Do Not Want To Live Like A King," Says Imran Khan
"I would not like to live in the prime ministe's house, may make it an educational institution. Badshah key tarah nahin rahenge (Will not live like a king)": Imran Khan
Jul 26, 2018
17:51 (IST)
Imran Khan, On Brink Of Victory, Talks Of Business Reforms
"We have to lower cost of doing business, raise ease of doing business. We have to create opportunities for investment": Imran Khan

Jul 26, 2018
17:49 (IST)
 "We plan to set up a Medina-like welfare state in Pakistan, like governance system at the time of the Prophet": Imran Khan

Jul 26, 2018
17:45 (IST)
"Law Will Now Be Equal For All," Says Imran Khan
Jul 26, 2018
17:44 (IST)
Imran Khan Gives China's Example In His First Address After Massive Lead
"I want to work on the China example. China has brought 70 crore people out of poverty: Imran Khan
Jul 26, 2018
17:40 (IST)
"Want To Congratulate People Of Pakistan"
"I want to thank all those people who braved the heat and all kinds of difficulties to strengthen our democracy," says Imran Khan as he addresses Pakistan. Here are highlights of his first speech after he secured massive lead in the general election.

  • "I have seen Pakistan's rise and fall, its collapse"
  • "I thank Allah for the struggle of 22 years has brought to me this place and given me a chance to make Pakistan that I dreamt of"
  • "Allah had given me everything that I could have even done alright had I not entered politics"


 
Jul 26, 2018
17:35 (IST)
Imran Khan is now addressing Pakistan after getting massive lead in general elections. 
Jul 26, 2018
17:34 (IST)
China has said it is ready to work with the new government in Pakistan irrespective of the results.  "Friendship between China and Pakistan is supported by the people of the two countries. Regardless of the result of the election, the development of bilateral ties will not be affected," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. 
Jul 26, 2018
17:00 (IST)
"Winds Of Change" Tweet As PTI Emerges Single Largest Party In Early Leads
Jul 26, 2018
15:02 (IST)
With 48 per cent of the total vote counted, Imran Khan's PTI was listed by the Election Commission in its provisional results as leading in 113 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies.

Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was ahead in 64 constituencies, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by the son of assassinated two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto, led in 42 constituencies.
Jul 26, 2018
14:13 (IST)
Imran Khan's party is leading in 119 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies. Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was ahead in 63 constituencies, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by Bilawal Bhutto, the son of assassinated two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, led in 38 constituencies.
Jul 26, 2018
14:00 (IST)

A supporter of Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), takes a selfie in Rawalpindi (AFP)
Jul 26, 2018
13:33 (IST)
Local newspapers and television channels are predicting victory for Imran Khan's party, with the partial results giving him at least 100 seats so far in the National Assembly, the lower house.

A majority of 137 seats is needed to form a government.
Jul 26, 2018
13:07 (IST)
"This is complete chaos," said political analyst Azeema Cheema, who said she was "very concerned" about what comes next. "It depends on how the civilian disobedience is being organised. You may have spontaneous riots among political party workers. Then maybe political parties will organise sit-ins and demonstrations," she told news agency AFP.
Jul 26, 2018
12:56 (IST)
Jul 26, 2018
12:55 (IST)

Pakistani newspapers and television channels are predicting victory for Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, with the partial results giving him at least 100 seats so far in the National Assembly, the lower house. A majority of 137 seats is needed to form a government.
Jul 26, 2018
12:30 (IST)
"22 years later, after humiliations, hurdles and sacrifices, my sons' father is Pakistan's next PM. It's an incredible lesson in tenacity, belief & refusal to accept defeat. The challenge now is to remember why he entered politics in the 1st place. Congratulations Imran Khan," Jemima Goldsmith tweeted.
Jul 26, 2018
12:23 (IST)
Election officials count votes in Karachi, Pakistan.

Jul 26, 2018
12:15 (IST)
Stock Exchange bullish as PTI leads in polls

The stock market shot up nearly 2 per cent in early trading on relief the likely coalition government will not be a weak one. Pakistan faces a mounting economic crisis that is likely to require a bailout by the International Monetary Fund, although PTI has not ruled out seeking succour from China, Islamabad's closest ally.
Jul 26, 2018
11:32 (IST)
The stock market shot up nearly 2 percent in early trading on relief the likely coalition government will not be a weak one. Pakistan faces a mounting economic crisis that is likely to require a bailout by the International Monetary Fund, although Imran Khan's PTI has not ruled out seeking succour from China, Islamabad's closest ally.
Jul 26, 2018
11:27 (IST)

A Pakistani motorcyclist rides past a billboard featuring an image of Pakistan's cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) party, a day after the general election in Islamabad (AFP)
Jul 26, 2018
11:24 (IST)

A Pakistani resident looks at morning newspapers at a stall a day after the general election in Islamabad today. Pakistan woke to electoral chaos today with the outgoing ruling party denouncing "blatant rigging" in the pivotal general election and rejecting unofficial, partial results suggesting victory for former cricket champion Imran Khan. (AFP)
Jul 26, 2018
11:05 (IST)
The 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". "Today what they have done has pushed Pakistan back 30 years... People will not bear it," the party's leader Shahbaz Sharif, brother of jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif, said in a press conference.
Jul 26, 2018
10:43 (IST)

A supporter of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) waves a party flag as he celebrates during the general election in Rawalpindi (Reuters)

Jul 26, 2018
10:42 (IST)
In the eastern city of Lahore, capital of Punjab province and the country's political heartland, PTI supporters rejoiced by waving flags and raising party slogans as results trickled in after the voting yesterday.
Jul 26, 2018
10:41 (IST)
Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf today inched closer to becoming the single largest party in the country's general elections by leading on 119 seats in an early count of votes, amid charges of rigging by rival political parties.
Jul 26, 2018
10:35 (IST)
News agency AFP, quoting local media, said less than half the votes had been counted more than 13 hours after polls closed. The unprecedented delay that has fuelled widespread fears over the legitimacy of the exercise.
Jul 26, 2018
10:29 (IST)
Other major parties also alleged fraud, including the once-dominant Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), whose chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari echoed the PML-N's claim that party representatives were barred from monitoring the count, tweeting that the situation was "Inexcusable & outrageous".
Jul 26, 2018
10:29 (IST)
The Election Commission of Pakistan dismissed allegations of manipulation, blaming the delay on glitches in new, untested counting software.
Jul 26, 2018
10:28 (IST)
Results are still being tallied Thursday morning, hours after Khan's supporters took to the streets to celebrate victory in an election opponents have said the powerful military rigged in his favour. Local media said less than half the votes had been counted more than 13 hours after polls closed, an unprecedented delay that has fuelled widespread fears over the legitimacy of the exercise.
Jul 26, 2018
10:27 (IST)
Pakistan woke to electoral chaos on Thursday with the outgoing ruling party denouncing "blatant rigging" in the pivotal general election and rejecting unofficial, partial results suggesting victory for former cricket champion Imran Khan.
Jul 26, 2018
10:14 (IST)

A supporter of Nawaz Sharif's PML-N, waves a party flag as he celebrates during the general election in Rawalpindi
Jul 26, 2018
10:03 (IST)
Imran Khan's party is leading in 119 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies. Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was ahead in 61 constituencies, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by the son of assassinated two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto, led in 40 constituencies.
Jul 26, 2018
09:58 (IST)

Supporters of Pakistan's cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) party, ride on a motorcycle as they celebrate in Rawalpindi after voting closed in the general election. Vote-counting is ongoing in a knife-edge Pakistan general election as the former cricket hero Imran Khan sought power on a day marred by a bloody suicide bombing and claims of military interference. (AFP)
Jul 26, 2018
09:54 (IST)
Any potential delays in forming a government would be worrisome, as Pakistan faces a mounting economic crisis that is likely to require a bailout by the International Monetary Fund and worsening relations with on-off ally the United States.
Jul 26, 2018
09:53 (IST)
Pakistan's top election official batted away allegations of ballot-rigging Thursday, defending an ongoing delay in the formal vote count as a technical issue. The incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party flat out rejected the pending results of Wednesday's election, citing "outright rigging" and accusing officials of preventing its representatives from overseeing the count.
Jul 26, 2018
09:10 (IST)
Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party is leading in 112 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies. Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was ahead in 64 constituencies, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by the son of assassinated two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto, led in 44 constituencies.
Jul 26, 2018
07:51 (IST)
Jul 26, 2018
07:44 (IST)
Jul 26, 2018
07:20 (IST)
PML-N alleges vote rigging as Imran Khan tipped for victory

Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has rejected the pending results of Wednesday's election.

PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif -- brother of jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif -- alleged "massive rigging" in the election that "will cause irreparable damage to the country".
Jul 26, 2018
06:39 (IST)
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman  Bilawal Bhutto Zardari  has raised concern over the counting process.

He said that his party's polling agents were not allowed inside polling stations. "It's now past midnight & I haven't received official results from any constituency I am contesting my myself. My candidates complaining polling agents have been thrown out of polling stations across the country. Inexcusable & outrageous," he tweeted.

Mr Bhutto's party is leading in 42 seats. 
Jul 26, 2018
06:32 (IST)
The full results of general election are likely to be delayed, news agency Reuters said quoting Pakistan authorities. 

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary Babar Yaqoob told reporters early on Thursday that counting had been delayed by technical failures in an electronic reporting system and the tallying was now being conducted manually. The results had been due by 2 a.m. (2100 GMT).
Jul 26, 2018
06:27 (IST)
Shahbaz Sharif, the leader of the Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), dismissed results from Wednesday's nationwide poll as counting was still underway. "Today what they have done has pushed Pakistan back 30 years... We reject this result," Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of Pakistan's jailed ex-leader Nawaz Sharif, told a press conference in Lahore.
Jul 26, 2018
06:24 (IST)
Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party is leading in 114 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies. Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was ahead in 64 constituencies, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by the son of assassinated two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto, led in 42 constituencies.
Jul 26, 2018
06:14 (IST)

Supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf celebrate during the counting of the general election in Karachi. Imran Khan's camp was increasingly confident of winning the election, although it still appeared likely to fall short of the 137 seats needed for a majority in the National Assembly, raising the prospect it would need to find coalition partners among smaller parties and independents. (Reuters)


Elections in Pakistan took place this time under the allegations of manipulation by the army and concerns over participation of terrorist and radical groups. 
Jul 26, 2018
06:12 (IST)

Supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) celebrate during the counting of the general election in Karachi (Reuters)
Jul 26, 2018
05:08 (IST)
We Will Take Action, Says Pak Election Commission
Election Commission official Babar Yaqoob promised that all formal complaints would be investigated.

"If there are certain polling stations where they have any complaints, we should be approached. We will take action," Mr Yaqoob said.

But he said he had no knowledge of widespread problems.

"We're getting complaints that on some polling stations where certain parties are losing, their polling agents are leaving without taking the verified results," he said.

Imran Khan has staunchly denied allegations by PML-N that he is getting help from the military, which has ruled Pakistan for about half of its history and still sets key security and foreign policy in the nuclear-armed nation. The army has also dismissed allegations of meddling in the election.
Jul 26, 2018
04:57 (IST)
With about 30 per cent of the votes counted in Pakistan elections, Imran Khan's PTI maintains a lead over other parties but is short of the majority mark.

Jul 26, 2018
03:24 (IST)
Election Commission Defends Delayed Results
Facing questions about the delay in posting official results, Pakistan Election Commission says 'result transmission service' has stopped, causing the delay.

"Result transmission service stopped working under pressure and has delayed results. Presiding officers have been asked to meet their returning officers, along with army officers assigned to their voting booths, with the results," Babar Yaqoob, ECP Secretary, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Reports suggest the Pak Election Commission is yet to publish a single official result.
Jul 26, 2018
03:10 (IST)
'Form 45' Controversy
During the count, outgoing PML-N Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir-Khan tweeted that official result forms were not given at hundreds of polling stations, decrying what he called "blatant, callous, shameless rigging".

The forms, called 'Form 45', are given to polling agents as a proof of certified vote count.

The third major party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, also complained that its polling agents were asked to leave during the vote count in a number of voting centres.

"This is the warning bell of a serious threat," said PPP senator Sherry Rehman. "This whole election could be null and void, and we don't want this."

Several smaller parties made similar complaints in public statements.
Jul 26, 2018
02:38 (IST)
Prospect Of Weeks Of Haggling

The results in Pakistan could throw up scenarios that could delay the formation of a government.

Imran Khan, who is leading in the partial results, has staunchly denied allegations by PML-N that he is getting help from the military, which has ruled Pakistan for about half of its history and still sets key security and foreign policy in the nuclear-armed nation. The army has also dismissed allegations of meddling in the election.

Mr Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has inched ahead of PML-N in recent national polls, but even if it gets the most votes, it will likely struggle to win a majority, raising the prospect of weeks of haggling to form a messy coalition government.

Such a delay could further imperil Pakistan's economy, with a looming currency crisis expected to force the new government to turn to the IMF for Pakistan's second bailout since 2013. PTI has not ruled out seeking succour from China, Islamabad's closest ally.
Jul 26, 2018
01:16 (IST)
Nawaz Sharif's PML-N rejects election count amid rigging complaints
The party of jailed former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rejected the eventual results of Wednesday's general election, alleging rigging during the counting process.

Mr Sharif's party has accused the military for weeks of attempting to throw the election to opposition figure Imran Khan, a former cricket star and anti-corruption crusader.

Shehbaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and brother of the ousted prime minister, early on Thursday rejected the counting process as results were still trickling out and no winner had been declared but projections showed a strong lead for Khan.

"We reject this result," Shehbaz Sharif said.
Jul 26, 2018
00:58 (IST)
Nawaz Sharif's party PML-N rejects election results, alleges rigging: news agency AFP
Jul 26, 2018
00:01 (IST)
Nawaz Sharif's PML-N, others including PPP and MQM, have formally complained of voter fraud as Imran Khan's party maintains lead.
Jul 25, 2018
23:31 (IST)
A spokeswoman for Nawaz Sharif's party said there were already "serious reservations" about the vote count after reports that soldiers stationed in polling stations had thrown out political parties' monitors during the tabulations.
Jul 25, 2018
23:28 (IST)
Early projections from four local TV channels are all putting Imran Khan's party PTI ahead, estimating it would win between 94 and 102 of 272 elected seats available, while Nawaz Sharif's outgoing ruling party was estimated at between 40 and 58. However, those projections were based on only about 10-15 percent of votes counted.
Jul 25, 2018
23:27 (IST)
Imran Khan's party PTI tweets, "Mubarak ho Pakistan! PTI is all set to make its own next government in Pakistan! Analysts predicting a clear majority of 136+ Seats for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf now. InshaAllah."


Jul 25, 2018
23:14 (IST)
Pakistan Election Results - What We Know

Pakistan is locked in a close and tense election race, pitting cricket hero Imran Khan against the party of jailed ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a process marred by a suicide bomb that killed 31 people near a polling station.

Neither Mr Khan nor Mr Sharif's party appeared likely to win a clear majority in the too-close-to-call election, with results likely to be known by around 2 a.m. local time on Thursday (2:30 am IST).

The outcome could lead to a weak coalition government at a time when Pakistan urgently needs to address a foreign currency crisis and may need to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a second bailout in five years.

About 106 million people were registered to vote in polls that closed at 6 p.m.
Jul 25, 2018
21:34 (IST)
Imran Khan's PTI maintains lead over Nawaz Sharif's PML(N) as more votes are counted in Pak elections.



Jul 25, 2018
20:52 (IST)
Jul 25, 2018
20:27 (IST)
Pak Election Commission rejects political parties' plea to extend voting time
Pakistan's election commission today rejected a plea by major political parties to extend the polling time by an hour, amid reports of slow voting in many constituencies, according to a media report. The voting closed at 6:00 pm as scheduled.

The request to extend the voting time was initiated by former jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif's party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which was later joined by the Awami Muslim League (AML), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI).

However, after deliberations the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected the requests for an extension of one hour. In a press release, the ECP said all those who were present at polling stations before 6:00 pm would be allowed to cast their ballots.
Jul 25, 2018
20:16 (IST)
Jul 25, 2018
20:10 (IST)
Early Results For Pak Elections, Imran Khan's PTI Leads
Imran Khan's PTI ahead as votes are counted in Pakistan elections. 

Jul 25, 2018
19:45 (IST)
Jul 25, 2018
18:29 (IST)
Nawaz Sharif's mother casts her vote in Lahore
Jul 25, 2018
18:17 (IST)
Imran Khan was sent a notice by the Election Commission of Pakistan today after he was captured on video casting his vote. 
Jul 25, 2018
15:37 (IST)

Jul 25, 2018
15:25 (IST)
Nawaz Sharif's Party PML-N Asks Pak Election Commission To Extend Polling Time By 1 Hour

Jul 25, 2018
15:20 (IST)

Jul 25, 2018
14:53 (IST)

Jul 25, 2018
14:41 (IST)
According to a report by Pakistani newspaper Dawn, seven people, including one woman, have been arrested from different polling stations in Karachi for allegedly taking part in rigging.
Jul 25, 2018
13:50 (IST)
The Shadow Of Terror On Pakistan's General Election

Controversy has also arisen over allowing terrorists groups to participate in the elections. Some of the infamous Pakistani extremist leaders, accused of spreading religious hatred and instigating sectarian violence, are among hundreds of candidates contesting the elections.

The leading among them are Mumbai-terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led banned Jamaat-ud Dawa's candidates who are fighting with an aim to make Pakistan a "citadel of Islam." Saeed's son and son-in-law are contesting the elections.

In the run up to the elections, the country witnessed a series of deadly attacks targeting candidates and campaign rallies, including one that killed 151 people in Balochistan province.

Jul 25, 2018
13:39 (IST)
Jul 25, 2018
13:37 (IST)
Jul 25, 2018
13:32 (IST)
Pakistan Army's Role In The General Elections In The Country

The run up to the elections have seen a massive crackdown on the media and allegations that the military has secretly backed the campaign of former cricketer Imran Khan while targeting his political opponents.

The military has ruled Pakistan through various coups for half of the country's history since its creation in 1947. Even during the civilian rule, the generals have wielded enormous power, setting the agenda for the country's foreign and security policies.

Questions were raised about the role of the military after reports that it was given magisterial powers. The Election Commission was also criticised for deploying the army both inside and outside of polling stations.

Army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa, however, assured that soldiers deployed for election duties would strictly comply with the code of conduct given by the poll body. He also said the army will only perform a facilitative role in the polls and that the polling process is to remain under the control and authority of the Election Commission.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said there were "ample grounds to doubt" the legitimacy of the elections and criticised the "blatant, aggressive and unabashed attempts to manipulate the outcome of the upcoming elections."

Jul 25, 2018
13:21 (IST)
ISIS Claims Responsibility For Suicide Blast In Balochistan On Election Day In Pak

ISIS has claimed responsibility for an explosion near a polling station in Balochistan's Quetta, according to the group's AMAQ news agency.

At least 28 people were killed and 35 injured in the suicide blast in Quetta on election day.

ISIS confirmed that the attack was carried out by one of its suicide bombers, but did not provide further detail or evidence for its claim.

Jul 25, 2018
13:17 (IST)
Imran Khan Makes Televised Speech, Violates Pak Election Commission Rule

Imran Khan has given a televised speech to the media after casting his vote in Islamabad.

Pakistan's Election Commission has said that Imran Khan's speech is a clear violation of its rules, which has a ban on electoral speech-making from midnight on election day.

(File Photo of Imran Khan during an election rally)
Jul 25, 2018
13:12 (IST)
At Least 28 Killed, 35 Injured In Suicide Blast In Pak-occupied Balochistan On Polling Day

At least 28 people were killed and 35 injured in a suicide attack on a polling station in Balochistan's capital Quetta, officials said, as millions vote in Pakistan's election today.

The attack has not been claimed by any terror group so far.

Balochistan, which has been under Pakistan's forceful occupation since March 1948, is the poorest and most restive region in its control. For decades Balochistan has seen a separatist movement trying to get freedom from Pakistan's forceful occupation.

The region was hit by several bombings during the brief but acrimonious election campaign -- including a devastating blast claimed by the Islamic State group which killed 153 people this month, and was Pakistan's deadliest ever suicide attack.

An earlier attack in Balochistan left one policeman dead and three wounded when a hand grenade was thrown at a polling station in the village of Koshk, in Khuzdar district.

Pakistan's military has stationed over 370,000 personnel across Pakistan to ensure security for the election, bolstered by an additional 450,000 police.

(With inputs from AFP)

Jul 25, 2018
12:56 (IST)
Imran Khan, Shehbaz Sharif Tweet On Quetta Blast

Pakistan political leaders have tweeted on the bomb blast in Quetta.
Jul 25, 2018
12:53 (IST)
Fearing Poll Violence, Officials Arrange 1,000 Kafan Burial Shrouds In Pak's Peshawar

Security in Pakistan has been heightened because of the general elections. Around eight lakh law enforcement and army personnel have been deployed across the country to ensure safe polling."
Jul 25, 2018
12:37 (IST)
According to reports 28 people have been killed and 40 injured in a suicide bomb blast near a polling station in Quetta.
Jul 25, 2018
12:12 (IST)
All You Need To Know (Stats) About The Pakistan General Election 2018

Registered Voters: 105,955,407 voters

Male Voters: 59,224,262

Female Voters: 46,731,145

Polling Stations: 85,000

National Assembly Candidates: 3,765

Registered Political Parties: 110

Political Parties That Are Active: 30

Voter Turnout in 2013: 55%

Voting Age In Pakistan: 18 Years

Jul 25, 2018
12:00 (IST)
The 2018 general election in Pakistan has been dubbed as the country's "dirtiest election" due to widespread accusations of pre-poll rigging by the armed forces, with Imran Khan believed to be the beneficiary.
Jul 25, 2018
11:52 (IST)
Pakistan's 5 Biggest Post-Election Challenges

Pakistan's next government will face myriad challenges, from unsustainable population growth to simmering extremism, all complicated by the decades-long tussle between civilian and military leadership. No matter who is voted into office after today's polls, the new rulers will have to make hard choices, and quickly.

Here is a rundown of the biggest hurdles Pakistan is facing:

- Terrorism -

Pakistan has been battling terrorism which has originated from its own soil. Over the years, it has become a victim of its own creation. While terror originating from Pakistan is a massive threat to the rest of the world, security within the country has improved in recent times.

Analysts, however, have long warned that Pakistan is not tackling the root causes of extremism, and terrorists can still carry out attacks at will.

That includes during this election season, with a string of bombings at political events killing more than 180 people, including the second-deadliest terror attack in Pakistan's history.

Analysts have warned that terrorists may be regrouping and seeking to reassert themselves after years of setbacks.

- Economy -

Pakistan's next government faces growing fears of a balance of payments crisis, with speculation mounting it will have to seek its second bailout in five years from the International Monetary Fund.

The central bank is burning through foreign exchange reserves and devaluing the Pakistani rupee, including another five-percent dive this month, in a bid to bridge a widening trade deficit.

Pakistan, which has long relied heavily on imports, increased its procurement of materials to help build a string of Chinese-backed infrastructure projects under a multi-billion-dollar investment package with Beijing.

The terms of the projects are opaque, leading to fears about Islamabad's ability to pay for them.

The economy has also been stung by higher oil prices.

Meanwhile, meagre exports such as textiles have taken a hit from cheaper products by regional competitors, including China, while foreign remittances -- a major contributor to the economy -- have also slowed.

The winner of the election will have "limited time" to act, Fitch ratings agency warned earlier this month.

- Population growth -

Conservative Pakistan, with its limited family planning, has one of the highest birth rates in Asia at around three children per woman, according to the World Bank and government figures.

That has led to a fivefold increase of the population since 1960, now touching 207 million, draft results from last year's census show.

The boom is negating hard-won economic and social progress in the developing country, experts have warned.

To add to the problem, discussing contraception in public is taboo in Pakistan.

Analysts say unless more is done to slow growth, the country's natural resources -- particularly drinking water -- will not be enough to support the population.

- Water shortages -

Pakistan is on the verge of an ecological disaster if authorities do not urgently address looming water shortages, experts say.

Official estimates show that by 2025 the country will be facing an "absolute scarcity" of water, with less than 500 cubic metres available per person -- just one-third of the water available in parched Somalia, according to the UN.

Pakistan has  just three major water storage basins, compared with more than a thousand in South Africa or Canada. As such, any surplus water is quickly lost.

Political initiative will be essential to building infrastructure to reverse the course of the impending crisis. There is also little in the way of public education on water conservation.

- Civil-military relations -

Pakistan has spent roughly half its nearly 70-year history under military rule, and the imbalance of power in between civilian governments and the armed forces has long been seen as an impediment to democracy and progress.

Hope surged in 2013 as the country saw its first-ever transition of power from one democratically-elected government to another.

But since then, experts have warned of a "creeping coup", fuelled by tensions between the generals and the government of three-time premier Nawaz Sharif, largely attributed to his desire to assert civilian supremacy and seek warmer relations with India.

Nawaz Sharif, ousted in 2017 and arrested for corruption earlier this month, says he and his party are being targeted by the military.

Activists and several prominent journalists have also accused the military of trying to install a pliant civilian government through pressure on politicians and the media. It denies the allegations.

The next government will be tasked with meeting the country's challenges without upsetting this delicate balance of power.

(Courtesy: AFP)

Jul 25, 2018
11:35 (IST)
Pak Polls Update: On Polling Day, Blast In Pak-Occupied Balochistan's Capital Quetta

JUST IN: Several people have been injured in a blast near eastern bypass in Balochistan's Quetta, says Pakistan's media: news agency ANI
Jul 25, 2018
11:30 (IST)
Watch: Jailed Nawaz Sharif vs Imran Khan In Historic Pak Vote Today

Jul 25, 2018
10:26 (IST)
Pakistan General Elections: The 5 Main Players
The Pakistan election on Wednesday comes after a brief but acrimonious campaign, complicated by a string of attacks which have prompted security fears. The 2018 poll is considered a vital step for Pakistan, and represents only the second democratic transition in a country ruled by the military for roughly half its history.

Here is a look at the election's main players:

- Nawaz Sharif -


Nawaz Sharif, dubbed as the Lion of Punjab, was thrice prime minister but never completed a term. His latest stint ended last year when he was ousted by the Supreme Court over corruption, and later banned from politics for life.

His woes reached their peak earlier this month when he was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison. Mr Sharif spectacularly returned to Pakistan from London a week later and was arrested.

Analysts say he has returned to fight for his political life to boost his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party's stumbling campaign.

Seen as a combative and tenacious figure, Mr Sharif claims he is being targeted by the military -- with which he was once close.

The dispute is largely attributed to his desires to shift power to the civilian government and seek warmer diplomatic relations with India.

- Pak Army -


Pakistan's army, considered the country's strongest institution, has ruled Pakistan for roughly half its nearly 70-year history, and is widely believed to control foreign and defence policy.

It has been broadly accused by the media, analysts, activists and politicians of what one think tank called a "silent coup" against the PML-N, and in favour of opposition stalwart Imran Khan.

Several cases of kidnappings, threats and pressure against the media and political activists have been reported, and diplomats have voiced concern over censorship allegations ahead of the polls.

The army denies the claims, saying it has "no direct role" in the election.

- Imran Khan -


A cricket hero-turned-politician, Imran Khan has become the main opposition leader in recent years and makes no secret of his ambition to become prime minister.

Known mainly in the West as a talented sportsman and infamous playboy, he presents a significantly more conservative and devout face to Muslim-majority Pakistan.

His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, founded in 1996, governed northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province for five years but had to settle for a handful of seats nationally after the 2013 election.

The fall of Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N's floundering campaign represents Imran Khan's best chance yet to become prime minister, even if an outright majority remains uncertain.

Critics consider him unfit for office. Some call him "Taliban Khan" because of his repeated calls for talks with violent terror groups. He has also been criticised for pandering to Islamist hardliners over blasphemy.

Others openly accuse him of having links to the Pak army and ISI.

- Shahbaz Sharif -


Nawaz Sharif's younger and less charismatic brother, Shahbaz became president of the PML-N after his elder sibling was ousted, and is leading the party's campaign.

His quieter style has been overshadowed by Nawaz Sharif's loud quarrel with the military. But he occupies a key position in Pakistani politics, having spent more than 10 years as chief minister of Punjab, home to more than half of the country's population of 207 million.

Shahbaz Sharif, also an influential businessman, is reputedly less stubborn when it comes to the military, and therefore more acceptable to the generals than Nawaz.

There has long been speculation that the two brothers have clashed over their political differences, but they have never corroborated the claims.

- Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari -


Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is the son of Benazir Bhutto, who was twice elected prime minister and assassinated in 2007. His grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, also a prime minister, was ousted in a coup and executed in 1979.

At 29, Bhutto-Zardari has little experience and the chance of election victory for his family's Pakistan Peoples Party is deemed almost nil -- though he could become kingmaker in a coalition if the PML-N or the PTI fail to win an outright majority.

The PPP once dominated Pakistani politics but is now in decline, facing a strong challenge even in its strongholds in southern Sindh province.

Bilawal's father Asif Ali Zardari, nicknamed "Mr 10 percent" by many in Pakistan because of numerous accusations of corruption, has previously been president of Pakistan.

There is speculation Asif, believed to be the main decision-maker in the PPP, could seek the post again -- or demand other concessions -- in any coalition deal.

(Courtesy: AFP)

Jul 25, 2018
10:10 (IST)
Watch: As Pak Votes For New Government, An Short Analysis Of What To Expect

Jul 25, 2018
09:46 (IST)
Pak Polls 2018: Key Party - Nawaz Sharif's PML-N

Nawaz Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) or PML-N on the other hand, says it is the target of the alleged military machinations, with candidates under pressure and Sharif jailed over a corruption conviction days before the vote.

Nawaz Sharif's brother Shahbaz is leading the party's campaign for the Pak polls.

Nawaz Sharif, known as the the 'Sher' or tiger of Pakistan's Punjab province, banks heavily on supporters from the region. His party symbol too, is the tiger. Known to have a very large support base in Pakistan's Punjab, the votes Mr Sharif's party gets from this region will more-or-less determine chances for his party's return to power.

It is widely believed in Pakistan, that he or she who wins most seats from Punjab (Pakistan), wins the general election.

Nawaz Sharif was recently ousted as the prime minister of Pakistan after he was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Pakistan's Supreme Court in a corruption and disproportionate assets case. His daughter Maryam too, has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Father and daughter are currently in jail, while Mr Sharif's wife Kulsoom is battling for her life and said to be in "critical" condition in a hospital in London. The Supreme Court has barred Nawaz Sharif from being able to contest the election or hold any political office.

Nawaz Sharif is seen by the Pak Army as someone who challenges their authority in Pakistan as he believes in the rule of a civilian government - a view that doesn't digest well with Pakistan's powerful generals, who do not want to part with power.

Apart from his brother Shahbaz, a key player from the PML-N is Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who took over as prime minister after Nawaz Sharif was ousted from the post.

Jul 25, 2018
09:28 (IST)
Pak Polls 2018: Key Candidate - Imran Khan

Imran Khan is believed to be backed strongly by the Pak Army and ISI. Many in analysts and political experts in Pakistan call him a puppet of the Pak Army. According to news agency AFP, Imran Khan is also termed by many as "Taliban Khan" because of his views and open support for the Taliban.

Imran Khan is campaigning on populist promises to build a "New Pakistan", vowing to eradicate corruption, clean up the environment and construct an "Islamic welfare" state. But his campaign has been dogged by widespread accusations that he is benefitting from the support of the country's powerful security establishment, with the media, activists and think tanks decrying a "silent coup" by Pakistan's generals.

Pakistan's military, which has ruled the country for more than half its history since its formation in 1947, has rejected the accusations, saying it has no "direct role" in the electoral process. However, Pakistan's election authorities have granted Pak Army officers broad powers inside polling centres that have further stirred fears of possible manipulation and election rigging.

Imran Khan, who has been known for his playboy image, has also raised eyebrows in recent weeks as he has increasingly catered to hardline religious groups, sparking fears a win for PTI could embolden Islamist extremists.
Jul 25, 2018
09:21 (IST)
The Pakistan election has largely boiled down to a contest between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Jul 25, 2018
08:54 (IST)
Pakistan Election 2018 - Counting Of Votes And Result

The contest is said to be a close one between Nawaz Sharif's party and Imran Khan's party. The counting of votes will be done on the spot soon after polling is concluded and results will be announced within 24 hours.
Jul 25, 2018
08:52 (IST)
Pakistan Election 2018 - The Key Parties And Contests

The three key parties contesting are former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) or PML-N, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or PTI, and former (late) prime minister Benazir Bhutto's party Pakistan Peoples Party, which is being headed by her son 29-year-old Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Jul 25, 2018
08:40 (IST)
Pakistan Election 2018 - The Stats And Numbers

Pakistan is a country of approximately 207 million people, out of which the number of registered voters are about 106 million. The voting, which is taking place between 8:00 am local time (8:30 am IST) and 6:00 pm (6:30 pm IST), will see more than 3,000 candidates contesting for 272 general seats of the National Assembly, while some 8,000 candidates are running for 577 general seats of the four provincial assemblies - Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Pak-occupied Balochistan.
Jul 25, 2018
08:36 (IST)
Today's election would be only the second democratic transition of power in Pakistan's 70-year coup-studded history.
Jul 25, 2018
08:36 (IST)
Pakistan General Election 2018: Voting Begins

JUST IN: Voting has begun across Pakistan to elect a new government and prime minister.
Jul 25, 2018
08:34 (IST)
Millions of Pakistanis vote today to elect a new government and prime minister in a tense election marred by allegations of military interference and a series of deadly attacks. Up to 800,000 police and military forces have been stationed at more than 85,000 polling stations across the country as voting for the general election will take place today.
Jul 25, 2018
08:31 (IST)
NDTV brings you this live blog to get all the latest and most relevant updates about the general election in Pakistan today.
Jul 25, 2018
08:29 (IST)
Good morning. It is a historic day today in Pakistan's 70-year existence, when millions will vote to elect a new government and a new prime minister. Since its formation in 1947, it is only the second time that a democratic transition of power is taking place in the country.
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