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Pakistan elections 2024: Counting underway amidst violence | All you need to know

In total, 266 National Assembly seats were contested out of 336, but one seat experienced a polling delay due to a candidate's death in a gun attack in Bajaur

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Jasleen Kaur
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Pakistan Elections 2024: The aftermath of Pakistan's recent elections is marked by a combination of violence, internet shutdowns, and political maneuvering. The country voted to elect its new government on Thursday, with Imran Khan's party holding the edge, while opposition figures, such as Nawaz Sharif's aide Ishaq Dar, anticipate a coalition government with independent winners.

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Election Day Challenges

The polling day was marred by violence, including a terror attack in Dera Ismail Khan district that resulted in the tragic deaths of five police personnel, with two others injured. To enhance security, mobile phone services were temporarily suspended during the voting process. In total, 266 National Assembly seats were contested out of 336, but one seat experienced a polling delay due to a candidate's death in a gun attack in Bajaur.

Key Political Players

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Major political parties in the election included the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by Bilawal Bhutto, the son of the late Benazir Bhutto.

Election Results

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif secured victory in his constituency, winning with 1,71,024 votes against Yasmin Rashid. However, Talha Hafiz Saeed, son of the Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, lost his constituency (NA 122 Lahore) against a PTI-backed candidate, Latif Khosa. The PTI-backed candidate also emerged victorious in another constituency, with 1,17,109 votes against Khwaja Saad Rafique.

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Allegations of Manipulation

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Imran Khan's PTI raised concerns about the delay in announcing results, alleging that the election outcomes were being withheld to prevent the historic victory of their party. The PTI urged supporters to protect their votes and take action against any manipulation of results.

International Response

UN Chief Antonio Guterres called for a calm atmosphere during the result tabulation process, expressing concern over reports of violence, casualties, and the suspension of mobile communication services. Guterres urged political leaders to refrain from actions that could escalate tensions.

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Political Statements and Reactions

The political landscape post-election has seen a flurry of statements. The PTI, through its official handle, called on Nawaz Sharif to accept defeat gracefully, asserting that the people of Pakistan would not accept him. Meanwhile, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz claimed that her party was emerging as the single largest in both the Centre and Punjab, hinting at a victory speech once final results are received.

Coalition Speculations

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Ishaq Dar, a close aide to Nawaz Sharif, indicated the possibility of a coalition government with independent winners. Dar mentioned that independent candidates were in contact with Sharif's party and expected to join any party within the next 72 hours as per constitutional provisions.

Protests and Unrest

Police fired tear gas shells at protestors demanding prompt election results outside a review officer's office, highlighting the growing unrest and impatience among the public.

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