Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has claimed victory in the general elections, even as the counting of votes is still underway. Delivering a premature victory speech on Friday, Sharif said hoped to have "better relations with neighbours" once the new government is formed.
"God willing, we will have better relations with our neighbours," said the 74-year-old leader, in an indirect message to India.
In his speech, Nawaz Sharif also announced that he has tasked his younger brother and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif to reach out to the Pakistan Peoples' Party's Asif Ali Zardari, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) chief Fazlur Rehman and Muttahida Qaumi Movement's Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui for the formation of a coalition government.
According to the latest data shared by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), results of 139 constituencies have been declared. On these seats, 55 independents (mostly supported by PTI) have emerged victorious.
The PML-N is in the second spot with 43 seats, followed by the PPP with 35 seats.
Votes are still being counted after Thursday's general election, which was marred by allegations of rigging, sporadic violence and a countrywide mobile phone shutdown.
To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 in the National Assembly. Election to one seat was postponed after the death of a candidate.
Overall, 169 seats are needed to secure a simple majority out of its total 336 seats, which include the reserved slots for women and minorities. (India Today)