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Supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party block a road to protest against the results of the general election, at Baleli, on the outskirts of Quetta, Pakistan, February 12, 2024.

REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed

Is Pakistan’s military losing its grip on power?

Thousands of supporters of imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan took to the streets and blocked highways in southwestern Pakistan on Monday to protest the results of last week’s chaotic election.

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Supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party gather during a protest demanding free and fair results of the elections in Karachi, Pakistan February 11, 2024.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Pakistan faces uncertain future after messy election

Following days of delay, the final results of Pakistan’s elections were announced on Sunday. Unexpectedly, independent candidates aligned with imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan took the most seats — 101 — outpacing the party of Khan’s rival, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which won 75 spots out of 266 seats up for grabs.

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Burqa-clad women arrive at a polling station to cast their vote as a police officer stands guard during general election, in Peshawar, Pakistan, February 8, 2024.

REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Who won Pakistan’s violent, chaotic election?

Pakistan went to the polls on Thursday in an election tainted by undemocratic practices – including a suspension of mobile phone services during voting – and violence.

Amid unexpected delays in the tallying of votes, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifdeclared victory Friday despite acknowledging that his party did not win enough seats to form a government. Sharif said his party won the largest share of the vote and that he would seek to form a coalition government. Meanwhile, reports indicated that independent candidates mostly affiliated with imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan won the most seats so far.

Before Election Day, Pakistan’s military was effectively accused of rigging the process in favor of Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League party with a rampant crackdown on Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Sharif and Khan are archrivals.

There’s “no doubt” that the delays in the vote count are part of a military-backed effort to ensure Khan-affiliated candidates don't come out on top, says Pramit Chaudhuri, Eurasia Group’s head of South Asia Research.

“PTI seems to have been able to get through the fog and connect its voters with their independent candidates,” says Chaudhuri, adding, “The results are the generals’ nightmare.”

Ongoing violence. At least 28 people were reportedly killed in Pakistan during voting on Thursday, and the violence continued into Friday, with at least two people killed in clashes between police and Khan supporters in the northwestern Shangla district.

Paramilitary soldiers stand guard along a road, ahead of the general elections in Karachi, Pakistan February 7, 2024.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Pakistanis vote but don’t decide who’s in charge

On Thursday, Pakistan is holding what should be one of the largest elections this year – but with the country’s most popular leader locked up, the military tilting the scales, and over two dozen killed this week in terrorist bombings, can it be called “democracy?”

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Pakistan's self-exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses a massive homecoming rally in Lahore, Pakistan, on Oct. 21, 2023.


Pakistan’s top court scraps lifetime election bans

It’s a good day to be former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. A court ruling just paved the way for him to run in next month’s general elections, by scrapping lifetime bans on politicians with prior convictions from running for office. The court has capped the ban at five years.

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Pakistan opposition holds mass rally calling for PM Khan to go

October 20, 2020 5:00 AM

KARACHI • Tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied in Pakistan's largest city of Karachi as part of a campaign to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan, who they accuse of being installed by the military in a rigged election two years ago.

Pakistan's ex-president indicted, former PM declared absconder

September 09, 2020 7:03 PM

KARACHI (BLOOMBERG) - An anti-graft court in Pakistan indicted former President Asif Ali Zardari and declared ex-premier Nawaz Sharif an absconder in corruption cases, the latest move in multiple legal proceedings against the political opponents of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Pakistan's ex-PM Sharif to return to jail after bail rejected

May 03, 2019 4:37 PM

ISLAMABAD (DPA) - Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday (May 3) rejected a plea by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to extend his six-week temporary bail set to expire on Tuesday, officials said.

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