Calls for fresh elections in Pakistan amid rigging claims; United States criticizes 'flaws'

Minnie Murray
July 31, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening congratulated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan for his party emerging the single largest party in the National Assembly of Pakistan in the recently concluded general elections in that country.

India's foreign affairs ministry did not directly comment on Khan's call for talks, but said it welcomed that "the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections". The MEA also stated that Modi "also reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighbourhood".

In a recent Interview with CNN, Reham Khan called PTI Chief Imran Khan "The Ideal Puppet" according to her, Establishment is behind him and Khan was desperate to become Prime Minister no matter what it takes.

Under the Constitution of Pakistan, the president will summon the meeting of the National Assembly within 21 days after the elections to elect the new prime minister.

Imran Khan's party announced on Monday (Jul 30) it has acquired enough seats in Pakistan's lower house through coalition talks to form a majority government.

The Financial Times reported on July 29 that senior Pakistani finance officials were drawing up options for Khan to seek an International Monetary Fund bailout of up to $12 billion.

The PML-N's leader Shahbaz Sharif announced his support for the "movement" but said he still needed to consult his party to see if they would boycott taking oaths that would swear them into parliament as well.

The party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif initially rejected the so far incomplete results, but by Friday its leaders appeared to accept that Khan would be the next prime minister.

But Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party failed to win an outright majority in the National Assembly, with 115 of the 270 available seats in Wednesday's vote, according to Pakistan's election commission. "The solution to conflicts should be found through dialogue", he was quoted as telling Modi.

Khan, during a speech declaring victory on Thursday before official results, offered to investigate opposition allegations of vote-rigging and said he wanted to "unite" the country under his leadership.

In Islamabad, Imran Khan's party released a a set of highlights of the conversation which quoted Modi as talking about a "new era" and "joint strategy in bilateral relations".

Ties between India and Pakistan have remained tense since the Mumbai terror attack in 2008, and worsened after the Uri terror attack by Pak-based terrorists.

He was a fierce critic of the U.S. war on terror, particularly the country's use of drone strikes in Pakistan, which targeted terrorist networks but also killed Pakistani civilians.

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