With the unveiling of the vote-count results by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the country’s Army chief General Asim Munir on Saturday urged the country’s polarized political leadership to form a “unified government of all democratic forces” after the general elections appear to have produced a hung Parliament.
Surprisingly, independents backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won the lion’s share of 100 seats in the National Assembly in Thursday’s election, as the result of 255 seats out of 265 was announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, The Hindu reported. Mr. Khan’s party has already claimed victory in the elections, warning that any attempt to derail the people’s decision would have "deadly consequences."
The PTI was followed by Mr. Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 73 seats, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) with 54, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) with 17 and smaller parties taking 11.
A party must win 133 seats out of 265 in the National Assembly to form a government.
On Saturday, a statement attributed to Gen. Munir said, “Pakistan’s diverse polity and pluralism will be well-represented by a unified government of all democratic forces imbibed with national purpose.”
The Army, which has ruled coup-prone Pakistan for more than half of its 75-plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in matters of security and foreign policy.
Meanwhile, Mr. Khan, 71, in an AI-generated audio-video message on Saturday, claimed victory in the general elections. He thanked the people for voting for the PTI and also asked them to ensure the sanctity of their votes was not hijacked by the establishment.
PTI Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan said any attempt to derail the people’s decision would have “deadly consequences”, adding that power-wielders must learn to respect the people’s choice.