Even as the counting of votes was ongoing, Nawaz Sharif said the PML-N had emerged as the single-largest party but did not have the majority. He also said that he had told his younger brother and former PM Shehbaz to reach out to the PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari, JUI-F’s Fazlur Rehman, and MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui for the formation of a coalition government
In a “show of magnanimity”, Pakistan’s prime ministerial hopeful Nawaz Sharif has opened doors for all parties to form the government after claiming victory in the national elections marred by violence and disorder.
“We can’t hold elections again and again. We were all sitting together yesterday but didn’t address you because the results were not in,” he said in a public address. “All the institutions in this country, everyone should together play a positive role in bringing Pakistan out of this crisis.”
Nawaz Sharif said he had told his younger brother and former PM Shehbaz to reach out to the PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari, JUI-F’s Fazlur Rehman, and MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui for the formation of a coalition government.
“Shehbaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar will hold meetings today,” he said.
According to sources, Zardari had arrived for talks with Shehbaz Sharif.
As of 8pm (Pakistan time), results for 221 national assembly seats had been announced. Independent candidates were leading with 90 seats, followed by 62 seats for Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had 51 seats and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) had 11. The Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), and the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid e Azam Group) had two seats each, while the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) had one. The results of 44 seats were awaited.
“We are all celebrating today because in these elections PML-N has emerged as the largest party in the country,” Nawaz Sharif claimed. “We do not have the majority to form government on our own…So, we are inviting everyone today to rebuild this injured Pakistan and sit with us. Our agenda is only a happy Pakistan and you know what we have done before.”
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said that the delay in results was due to a day-long mobile network shutdown imposed by the government during voting. The slow process resulted in allegations by jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that ballots were being tampered with in order to ensure Nawaz Sharif’s victory in the elections.
“We have to take this country to the 21st century and we are lagging behind because of our own mistakes,” Sharif said. “I tried to take this country in 1990 to a different tangent but we lost track…God was kind when we did the nuclear test in Pakistan and became one of the powers.”
Sharif emphasised that it was the collective duty of all political parties to collaborate and lead Pakistan out of its current challenges. “Not just my or Ishaq Dar’s responsibility… It is everyone’s Pakistan. If we all work together, only then Pakistan will get out of this crisis,” he added.