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Pakistan Vote Count Concludes, Imran Khan’s Supporters Clash With Security Forces

The polls saw independent candidates, many associated with Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, secure the majority of seats, thwarting the army-supported Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) prospects for a ruling majority.

Pakistan Elections 2024

Pakistan Elections 2024

Police deployed tear gas to disperse backers of imprisoned former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday, following his party’s call for protests outside election offices where they alleged rigging occurred in last week’s national vote.

Clashes erupted in Rawalpindi, located south of the capital, and Lahore in the east, while numerous other demonstrations occurred across the country without violence.

Pakistan Elections 2024

Before the protests, law enforcement warned they would crack down on unauthorized gatherings. There were no immediate reports of injuries resulting from the demonstrations.

The polls saw independent candidates, many associated with Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, secure the majority of seats, thwarting the army-supported Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) prospects for a ruling majority.

Nevertheless, independents cannot form a government, leading to weeks of political uncertainty as opposing parties discuss potential coalitions.

Leaders of PTI allege they would have garnered even more seats if not for vote tampering.

Suspicions arose due to a nationwide election-day mobile phone blackout and slow result tallies, fueling concerns of military interference to favor former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N.

PTI chairman Gohar Ali Khan asserted at a Saturday news conference that “elections were manipulated subtly throughout Pakistan,” urging supporters to demonstrate peacefully on Sunday.

Authorities issued warnings, citing the imposition of so-called Section 144 orders—a colonial-era law prohibiting public assemblies.

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A statement from Islamabad’s police force on Sunday cautioned against unlawful gatherings, indicating legal action would be taken against violators.

Similar warnings were issued in Rawalpindi, where police deployed riot gear, and Lahore, where law enforcement dispersed a gathering of PTI supporters using tear gas and batons.

Reports from local media indicated several individuals were detained in Karachi, in the south, for refusing orders to vacate the area.