Khan claims win in Pakistan election
Former cricket star Imran Khan declared victory Thursday in Pakistan’s parliamentary election and vowed to run the country “as it has never before been run” by fighting corruption, seeking regional cooperation and forging a new relationship with the U.S. that was not “one-sided.”
TV stations reported Khan and his Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI, maintained a commanding lead from Wednesday’s balloting. But his leading rival, Shahbaz Sharif, rejected the outcome, citing allegations of vote-rigging.
Pakistan’s election commission struggled with technical problems and had to revert to a manual count, delaying the announcement of final results until today. That left unclear whether the PTI will have a simple majority in the National Assembly or have to form a coalition government.
But that didn’t stop the 65-year-old Khan from proclaiming his triumph in an address to the nation, in which he pledged to create an Islamic welfare state to provide education and employment for the poor to fulfill a campaign promise to create 10 million jobs.
Khan, who has been critical of the U.S.-led conflict in neighboring Afghanistan.
He offered nothing to suggest an improvement in Pakistan’s already testy relationship with Washington since President Donald Trump’s tweets in January that accused Islamabad of taking U.S. aid and returning only lies and deceit.