Pakistan PM house to be converted into public space: Imran Khan

Security officials inspected the scene of a bomb blast that killed 29 people outside a polling station in Quetta

The controversy follows a bitter campaign season marred by allegations of interference from the country's powerful military, with former cricket star Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) accused of being the beneficiary.

A Pakistani resident looks at morning newspapers at a stall a day after the general election in Islamabad on July 26, 2018.

"We were successful and we were given a mandate", Khan, 65, said during a live broadcast, adding that there was "no politician victimisation" in the acrimonious contest.

During the broadcast, Khan vowed to tackle corruption that was "eating our country like a cancer" and touched on promises to balance relations with the United States that would be "beneficial" for both countries. "We want relations with the country based on mutual interest". "This has been a historic election", he said.

The PPP also complained that its polling agents were asked to leave during the vote count in a number of voting centers.

Newspapers and television channels have been predicting victory for PTI since late Wednesday.

The uncertainty of the outcome of the vote - no single party appeared assured of a simple majority win - could also lead to prolonged post-election jockeying that would hamper the forming of the next government.

"These elections were 100% fair and transparent", said Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza early on Thursday as the outcry grew.

As results keep pouring in, Pakistan is gearing up for a new government.

He called for a "balanced relationship" with Washington, which has taken a firmer line on Pakistan under President Donald Trump, suspending aid and even convincing Western allies to put Pakistan on a terror financing watchlist earlier this year.

The military, which had been accused of seeking to manipulate the vote in Khan's favour in the months leading up to the polls, has yet commented on the situation.

Jibran Nasir, an independent candidate from Pakistan's financial hub of Karachi, said he received death threats and even had a fatwa, or religious edict, issued against him after he refused to condemn Ahmadis, reviled by mainstream Muslims as heretics because they believe the messiah promised in Islam arrived over a century ago.




Shahbaz Sharif (R), the younger brother of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the head of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), speaks at a press conference in his political office in Lahore on July 25, 2018, as voting closed in general elections.

Moreover, there were several delays due to clashes between rival party supporters and other irregularities.

Other major parties also alleged fraud, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), whose chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari echoed the PML-N's claim that party representatives were barred from monitoring the count.

Khan has staunchly denied allegations by PML-N that he is getting help from the military, which has ruled Pakistan for about half of its history and still sets key security and foreign policy in the nuclear-armed nation.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, from its official Twitter handle, tweeted that the party is "heading right towards Naya Pakistan".

"This is complete chaos", said political analyst Azeema Cheema, saying she was "very concerned" about what comes next.

Also Wednesday, shooting between supporters of two opposing political parties killed one person and wounded two in a village near the northwestern city of Swabi.

He told The Guardian: "The election were completely rigged and it was one of the worst elections in the history of Pakistan".

Khan, who captained Pakistan to their World Cup cricket victory in 1992, vowed to tackle widespread graft while building an "Islamic welfare state".

Pakistan watchers in the U.S. today doubted the fairness of the general election for which Imran Khan's party received the army's backing while the PML-N and the PPP ran their campaigns "under constraints".

Sharif was ousted from power past year and jailed over a corruption conviction days before the vote, removing Khan's most risky rival.

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