Success of Imran Khan backed Independent candidates marks a stinging rebuke to Pak military

Islamabad: Independent candidates affiliated with former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehereek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has secured the most parliamentary seats in last week’s nationwide election as per the Pakistan Election Commission, media reports said.

It is a stunning victory for an incarcerated Khan who, two years ago faced a dramatic ouster as Prime Minister and most recently faced a military-led crackdown analysts say was designed to thwart the cricket icon’s return to power, CNN reported.

“You kept my trust, and your massive turnout has stunned everyone,” an AI-generated video of Khan shared by the PTI that mimicked his voice, said to his millions of followers shortly after his victory. “Now show the strength of protecting your vote.” Khan’s team has previously used AI to deliver his speeches from behind bars.

The continued success of Khan aligned candidates marks a seismic moment in the country’s recent history: It has delivered a stinging rebuke to the powerful military, a usually untouchable force that has long sat at the apex of power in Pakistan and – according to Khan’s aides and many supporters – cracked down on his party, CNN reported.

Despite the PTI backed independents winning the most seats in parliament, questions loom over what the next government of Pakistan will look like.

None of the three major parties have won the necessary seats to declare a majority in parliament and, therefore, will be unable to form government on their own, leaving it unclear who will be picked as the country’s next prime minister, CNN reported.

The results were also announced more than three days after polls closed, prompting accusations of electoral fraud from the PTI, CNN reported.


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