The man who led Pakistan to their first and only Cricket World Cup victory in 1992 has declared himself victorious in the National Assembly elections. The enigmatic ‘Kaptaan’ Imran Khan declared victory on July 26, amid allegations of vote rigging from other parties and leaders. The Election Commission of Pakistan is declaring the result today, and as of now, Imran’s party is leading in 119 out of the 269 seats being contested in the National Assembly. He needs 137 seats to have a majority. This means that Imran might have to seek alliances and form a coalition government.
Election results were delayed due to allegations of vote tampering and the votes were being counted manually. According to projections by many television stations throughout yesterday, Imran’s party, Tehreek-e-Insaf, emerged as the single largest party which led him to address the national media, claiming victory and promising a ‘new Pakistan’.
Shahbaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) party won 63 seats. He has denounced the result citing extreme manipulation and fraud. Allah-u-Akbar Tehreek, a little-known Pakistani political party that was co-opted by 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed has failed to win any seats. None of the candidates from the party had managed to secure even second lead in any place.
With a promise of a corruption-free Pakistan, Imran promised to work for the upliftment of the poor. He thanked the security forces for doing their best in the face of violence that marred the election. Two candidates lost their lives due to suicide attacks. Many others sustained injuries.
Pakistan election: PTI chairman Imran Khan, frontrunner in the polls, addresses the media.
Posted by Al Jazeera English on Thursday, July 26, 2018
“I want to thank the security forces … my party members, where we had suicide attacks in 10 locations, I want to commend all of them,” reported Al Jazeera.
Khan says that he would make a new Pakistan which would be a humanitarian state taking care of the economically weak. He also said that he will ensure that the rich don’t get richer and the poor don’t get poorer. He assured people that peace would come to their country.
“The weak are dying of hunger. I will try my best – all of my policies will be made to raise our weaker classes, for our labourers … for our poor farmers, who work all year and get no money … My effort will be that we try our best to raise these people up, that all of our policies be focused on human development. I want the whole country to think like this.”
He said that the biggest problem their country is facing is an economic crisis and unemployment. Regarding India, he said that he is disheartened because of his portrayal by Indian media. He says that he has been shown as a Bollywood villain.
“I think it will be very good for all of us if we have good relations with India. We need to have trade ties, and the more we will trade, both countries will benefit. The unfortunate truth is that Kashmir is a core issue…We are at square one right now [with India]. If India’s leadership is ready, we are ready to improve ties with India. If you step forward one step, we will take two steps.”
Who is Imran Khan?
The outspoken cricketer-turned-politician, Imran Khan (65) is from Punjab, Lahore. He was schooled at Lahore’s elite all-boys Aitchison College before graduating from Oxford University in 1975 with a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics.
As the captain of the Pakistan cricket team, he led the boys to victory in 1992 and immediately retired to focus on philanthropic works. He also started Pakistan’s specialised cancer institute Shaukat Khanum. He named it after his mother who succumbed to the disease.
Frustrated with the rising corruption in his country, Imran entered politics in 1996 ensuring “insaf” (justice) for all.
Over the years he has been called a Taliban sympathiser. He has also been accused of being too close to the military. In an interview with Al Jazeera in 2016, he clearly refuted all the allegations against him. He said that whoever kills innocent people are terrorists. He reiterated that during the 9/11 attacks there were no militants in Pakistan. Militants came into existence when the Pakistan military started to infiltrate inside rural areas.
"Anyone who kills innocent people are terrorists"Imran Khan with Mehdi Hasan on UpFrontFull episode available on July 29 at 1930GMT
Posted by Imran Khan (official) on Friday, July 29, 2016
Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has claimed that the polls were “stolen” and this dubious manipulation of the result would have a negative impact on the country.
Imran Khan managed to gather a majority in the Punjab region which has been the Sharif stronghold for the last three decades.