The United States has urged the Pakistani authorities to conduct an impartial investigation into allegations of irregularities and manipulation during the country's February 8 general elections using its legal system.
The final results of the February 8 elections were delayed significantly, prompting concerns about electoral transparency.
Several political parties, notably Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), have claimed that there were irregularities and rigging during the election.
The other parties, including the PPP, PML-N, and MQM-P, have begun discussions to create a coalition government because no party received a simple majority in the polls.
The PTI-backed independent candidates gained the most seats, followed by the PML-N and PPP.
During a daily press briefing on Monday, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller stated, "Right now, we believe it is a matter of first course, letting the legal system play itself out in Pakistan; that is the appropriate first step to take, and we believe it is the step that should be taken."
The spokesperson stated that the US had voiced concerns both publicly and privately, along with the EU, the UK, and other nations, over "some irregularities that we saw in the process. We emphasized the necessity for the Pakistani government to respect the will of the election."
Khan Picks Gandapur For KP CM Slot
PTI founder Imran Khan has nominated Ali Amin Gandapur as his party's candidate for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's (KP) chief minister.
"KP's chief minister will be Ali Amin Gandapur," stated the former prime minister while addressing the media in Adiala jail, where he is now serving a series of sentences.
Khan, whose party won 84 seats in the KP Assembly, is in a strong position to establish the government. In the National Assembly, PTI-backed candidates gained the most seats with nearly 90, followed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 75.
The PTI founder also dismissed the idea of creating a coalition government with the PML-N, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
He further stated that PTI leader Aliya Hamza obtained more than 100,000 votes while in jail.
PTI All Set To Challenge Election Result
When asked if his party planned to establish a government in the province or the center, Khan stated that they would first challenge the election results.
"We will also approach the Supreme Court against the election results," he announced.
GDA To Commence Agitation Drive Against Alleged Poll Rigging
The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) has said that it would initiate an agitation against the alleged rigging on February 8 that resulted in the Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) win in Sindh and that its two MPAs-elect will not take oath in protest against allaged ‘bogus’ polls.
GDA leaders Pir Pagara and Dr. Safdar Abbasi made the declaration at a press conference on Monday, following a meeting of the alliance's senior leaders to examine the province's post-poll scenario.
The GDA has declared that the first phase of the agitation effort in the province will include a protest sit-in on the Hyderabad Bypass on February 16. The coalition further stated that additional anti-PPP parties will be approached to join their agitation efforts.
Pir Pagara, the GDA leader, denounced the general elections, calling them anti-state elections, and warned that they might have serious consequences for the state, similar to how the leader of then-East Pakistan, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was not accepted as the chairman of the majority party in 1970.
Pagara asked state institutions to play an appropriate role in the country's post-election environment. He said that the PPP could never have won such a landslide victory in Sindh due to its alleged poor administration during its 15-year tenure.
The GDA leader further stated that the agitation would be nonviolent and would not involve any anti-state action. He stated that the protest sit-ins planned by the GDA as part of its agitation program will not impede the free passage of ambulances and other vehicles transporting families.
NA-121: PTI-Backed Candidate Joins PML-N
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidate Waseem Qadir, who won the general elections from the National Assembly's NA-121 constituency in Lahore, has joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
In a video statement released by the Nawaz Sharif-led party, Qadir was shown among PML-N leaders, including Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, stating that he is "back home."
The loss of the Lahore seat, which Qadir won by defeating PML-N's Sheikh Rohail Asgher by more than 8,000 votes, is a major setback for the PTI, as the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have already stated that they will seek the support of independent candidates to form government.
"I'm Waseem Qadir. I was the PTI's Lahore secretary-general. "I have returned to my home," said the ex-PTI leader, who is the first elected member to leave the party after the elections. For the development of my constituency and my people, I have joined the PML-N again," he added.
IPP Chairman Jahangir Tareen Quits Politics
Istehkam-e-Pakistan (IPP) Chairman Jahangir Tareen accepted the results of the 2024 general elections on Monday and announced that he would be quitting politics.
Tareen, who was contesting from his hometown of Lodhran—NNA-155 Lodhran II—lost the elections to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Khan Muhammad Siddique Jan Baloch. Tareen could only muster 71,128 votes to Baloch's 117,671 votes.
Reacting to the defeat in a message posted to his social media account on 'X' (former Twitter) on Monday, Tareen thanked all those who supported him and voted for him.
"I would like to thank everyone who supported me in this election and want to offer my congratulations to my opponents," he said.
"I have immense respect for the will of the people of Pakistan."
Siraj-ul-Haq Steps Down As JI Chief
Siraj-ul-Haq resigned as chief of Jamaat-e-Islami on Monday, accepting the defeat and worst performance of the JI in the 2024 elections. The JI secured no seat in the National Assembly and got only two seats in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly.