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  4. Pakistan polls: Imran Khan claims victory in AI-enabled speech, says 'London plan failed' | WATCH

Pakistan polls: Imran Khan claims victory in AI-enabled speech, says 'London plan failed' | WATCH

Imran Khan also claimed rigging and electoral malfeasance in Pakistan's elections, and claimed that his party-backed independent candidates are winning over 170 seats. He also lambasted his rival Nawaz Sharif for giving a victory speech despite trailing by 30 seats.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Islamabad Updated on: February 10, 2024 10:33 IST
Pakistan, Pakistan elections, Imran Khan
Image Source : AP (FILE) Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan elections: As the vote counting went on for Pakistan general elections showing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidates winning the most seats so far, incarcerated former Prime Minister Imran Khan released a victory speech on social media, saying the 'London Plan' of his rival and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif had failed.

"My beloved countrymen, by turning out in such huge numbers and exercising your democratic right of franchise, you have laid the foundation for the restoration of the freedom to exercise citizens' rights. I congratulate you all on helping us win the elections handsomely," said Imran in an AI-enabled speech in a video posted on X.

He claimed that PTI-backed candidates are winning more than 170 seats according to Form 45 data, adding that a “two-third majority” has been secured and lambasted Nawaz Sharif for making a victory speech despite being 30 seats behind. "I trusted that you all would come out to vote - and you honoured that trust and your massive turnout has shocked everyone. The 'London Plan' failed because of your active participation in the democratic exercise," Imran added.

Expanding on his party's claims of rigging and electoral malfeasance, Imran said, "No Pakistani will accept this (electoral malpractice) and the international media has also reported extensively about it". The meeting came shortly after Nawaz claimed victory in general elections held a day earlier, and invited his allies to form a coalition government.

Imran had been in jail since August, and was convicted three times in six days in the lead-up to the polls for 10, 14 and seven years in cases related to state secrets, graft and unlawful marriage. His rival Nawaz returned from four years of self-imposed exile and was considered the front-runner to lead the country, having buried a long-running feud with the powerful military.

Nawaz Sharif calls on rival parties

Nawaz's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won the most seats by a single party in Thursday's elections, but independent candidates, most of them backed by Imran's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won the most seats overall. The results of 245 constituencies were declared by 12 am on Saturday, where independents won 98 seats, PML-N won 69 and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won 51. 

Nawaz said that he wants to lead the country to prosperity while developing peaceful relations with neighbours. Apparently referring to India, the former PM also vowed that he wants 'peaceful relations' with everyone, including the neighbours.

"The light will return, unemployment will be eradicated, and the poor will be able to. The country's situation will improve. And we want our relations to remain good with the world as well as with our neighbours. We will improve our relations with them and resolve our differences," he added.

Addressing his party workers in Lahore, Nawaz Sharif said that he has told his younger brother Shehbaz to reach out to the PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari, JUI-F’s Fazlur Rehman and MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui for the formation of a coalition government.

PML-N, PPP agree to work together

According to Dawn, Nawaz Sharif's PML-N and Bilawal Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed to work together to achieve political and economic stability in the country. Former president Asif Ali Zardari, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Faryal Talpur met with ex-premier Nawaz and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif in Lahore last night.

“On this occasion, both sides exchanged views about [the] formation of forthcoming government in the country,” said the report. This came after Nawaz's party failed to win majority in the parliamentary elections, after Nawaz exuded confidence earlier of forming the government in Centre.

Results of the vote have been unusually delayed, which the caretaker government ascribed to the suspension of mobile phone services - a security measure ahead of the election. Votes are still being counted after Thursday's general election which was marred by allegations of rigging, sporadic violence and a countrywide mobile phone shutdown.

Authorities were earlier moving at a snail's pace to announce the election results that in a surprising development showed Khan's PTI supported independent candidates leading the show. The polling ended at 5 pm on Thursday but the first official result was announced 10 hours later at 3 am on Friday, irking many about the delay and giving fuel to the rumours of foul play to manipulate the outcome.

(with inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ | Pakistan elections 2024: As vote counting nears finish line, who will become the next Prime Minister?

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