In his first reaction over the general election results, Pakistan’s jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has alleged that the polls had been “stolen” and warned that the “tainted and dubious results would leave a “bad impact” on the country’s politics.
Talking to visitors in Adiala Jail on Thursday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader expressed his reservations over the elections results in Faisalabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi, the
reported. He said his party candidates in these areas were in very stable position, but they were declared defeated.
Thursday was a meeting day for Mr. Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law retired Capt. Muhammad Safdar, who were imprisoned after they were convicted by an accountability court over corruption charges.
A number of party leaders, who visited the jail, quoted Mr. Sharif as saying that Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had been made victorious in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa despite its previous government’s bad performance in the province.
Mr. Sharif said Mr. Khan’s position was much weaker this time than in 2013 when the last general elections were held.
Mr. Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif also held a one-on-one meeting lasting more than half an hour, later to be joined by Maryam, the daily said.
Political analysts in Pakistan fear choppy waters lie ahead for the politics in the country with several political heavyweights, who have suffered defeat in their strongholds, likely to band together amid allegations of rigging.
According to the Election Commission, Mr. Khan’s PTI has won 117 seats in the National Assembly with the PML-N coming second with 64 seats. PTI needs the support of independents and smaller parties to form the government.
“The next few days will be critical for Pakistan politics. Because if the political parties who have come second best to PTI get together and launch a combined protest over the results, it could be a big challenge for Khan and his party,” said Omair Alavi, a political analyst.
The PML-N has already questioned the election results, though its leaders have said they will sit in Opposition. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) parliamentarians are also crying foul, particularly after their Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto, lost in one of the party’s safest constituencies, Lyari area of Karachi, to a PTI candidate.
Religious parties like the Jamiat Ulema Islam (Maulana Fazlur Rehman) and the Khadim Hussain Shah-led Tehreek-e-Labaik have also alleged foul play in the counting of votes and have threatened agitation.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, an arch-rival of Mr. Khan, has announced he will be inviting all parties for a conference soon to discuss the election results.
PPP workers and leaders held a protest outside the Karachi Press Club, rejecting the election results, while Mutthaida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Pakistan leaders, Farooq Sattar and Khalid Maqbool, travelled to Islamabad to echo their grievances with the Election Commission.
Mr. Sattar a senior leader of the MQM also lost in the elections from his home constituency to the PTI.
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