Iran extends warm felicitations to Imran Khan on victory

Khan claims win in Pakistan with vows on poverty, US ties

Supporters of politician Imran Khan dance to celebrate his victory.

In spite of emerging as the clear victor and being the single largest party in the National Assembly after July 25 elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is falling short of the numbers required to form a government on its own.

"Improving relations with all neighbouring countries, particularly Iran, will be a priority for Pakistan's foreign policy". We understand the domestic politics there, but we are confident that Khan will deal with an open mind when it comes to India, officials also say. Though their deployment was also meant to prevent allegations of vote-rigging, which Imran Khan and his supporters used to cast a shadow over the legitimacy of Sharif's government, the defeated parties nonetheless claimed that the election had been tainted.

"Should Pakistan have to negotiate an International Monetary Fund bailout, the energy projects would be among the ones with question marks around them", because of large liabilities and costs to the Pakistani government, Small said. "The people of Afghanistan need peace, and Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan".

Nearly all the main rival parties have alleged the polls were rigged and manipulated in favor of Khan, allegations the independent Election Commission of Pakistan rejected.

Naubahar Sharif, from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology who is researching CPEC, said Khan was likely to call for greater transparency in the projects and demand more economic benefits for the poor to reinforce his populist approach. He also faces an opposition that is challenging the election results, alleging vote-rigging. Khan's party too has been appreciative of the fact that the Indian side, contrary to the popular perception in Pakistan that the Narendra Modi government wanted Nawaz Sharif's party to return to power, remained equidistant from all parties. TV projections give his party barely 61 seats.

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"This is not how we will grow, and it is detrimental to the subcontinent", he added.

Complaints also emerged from the independent Human Rights Commission, which issued a statement saying that women were not allowed to vote in some areas. The PML-N won the 2013 election, with Sharif becoming prime minister.

The deadliest incident occurred in Quetta, capital of southwestern Baluchistan province, where a suicide blast ripped through a crowed of political activists, voters and security personnel, killing more than 30 people. A bombing in the same province earlier this month killed 149 people, including a candidate for office.

Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the US State Department, said Washington agreed with the EU's observation that "positive changes to the legal framework for elections in Pakistan" were eclipsed by "restrictions on freedom of expression and unequal campaign opportunities".

The election marked only the second time in Pakistan's 71-year history that one civilian government has handed power to another. The military had deployed 350,000 troops at the 85,000 polling stations.

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