Islamabad, February 9: In what may trigger a major political upheaval in India’s neighbourhood, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was leading in 154 seats amid the counting of votes for the general elections.
A Pakistani netizen, who identified himself as the deputy director of an international think tank, posted the early trends amid the ongoing counting of votes, showing that the Independents backed the party founded by the jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan were leading in over 150 seats.
According to the post, the PTI-backed candidates were leading in 154 seats, while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were shown as going neck-to-neck and leading in 47 seats apiece. The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) were leading in 4 seats each, as per the early trends.
PTI chairman, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, too, claimed that his party was leading on more than 150 National Assembly (NA) seats, ARY News reported.
In a video shared on X, Barrister Gohar said the PTI will form governments at the Centre and in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) after “today’s landslide victory”.
Still considered one of the most popular leaders in the country, Imran is currently incarcerated in Adiala jail upon conviction in multiple cases.
The cricketer-turned-politician, who was disqualified earlier from contesting the polls, suffered a further blow in his hopes to return as the country’s premier after he was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in the cypher case, 14 years in the Toshakhana case, and seven years in the ‘un-Islamic’ marriage case.
Further, the Pakistan Supreme Court upheld the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to revoke the party’s iconic ‘bat’ symbol.
However, Imran has maintained that all the cases against him are ‘politically motivated’, vowing that his party will spring a major ‘surprise’ on its opponents on February 8, Dawn reported.
In a video message posted on his official X handle, Khan urged his supporters to come out and vote in large numbers.
In the personalised video address on February 7, the former PM said, “Elections are tomorrow. I want you to come out and bring out as many people as you know. Because you will change the fate of yourself as well as that of your children through these elections.”
The PTI also dismissed reports that it was boycotting the general elections.
A post on the PTI’s official X handle read, “Let the world know that this is the level to which the illegitimate, fascist regime has stooped to! Petrified of the massive turnout tomorrow for General Elections, the controlled media is being used to run a fake news about PTI boycotting elections, along with running a fake audio!”.
Polling for general elections in Pakistan concluded amid allegations of rigging and the shutdown of cellular and internet services, Dawn reported on Thursday.
The voting process began at 8 am and continued till 5 pm. The Election Commission of Pakistan earlier said that exceptions would only be made for people already inside the polling station.
However, the polling is not being considered free and fair, as many allegations were levelled regarding the rigging and people being barred from voting.
In a major development, the Federal Interior Ministry this morning suspended mobile phone and internet services across Pakistan to maintain the law and order situation during the general elections on Thursday.
Internet monitor Netblocks also said the real-time data shows that internet blackouts were in effect in “multiple regions of Pakistan in addition to mobile network disruptions,” as reported by Dawn.
The development drew severe criticism from major political parties.Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari demanded the immediate restoration of mobile phone services across the country.
Women voters in a village of NA-20 in Swabi district were completely banned to cast vote, ARY News reported on Thursday.
The locals allegedly prohibited women from exercising their right to vote in Adeena village of Swabi district. According to reports, the election staff were present at the polling station while few women voters were sighted.
In another incident, at least two children were killed in a blast near a polling station in Washbood Panjgur, according to ARY News.–(ANI)
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