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Pakistan General elections: Imran, Sharif neck to neck; hung verdict a possibility

Srinagar, July 25: The counting for the Pakistan General elections started at the end of Wednesday’s polls in the country but it could be 24 hours before the final results are declared.

The PTI, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, and ruling PML-N of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, are thought to be neck and neck in the elections. Former PM Benazir Bhutto’s PPP, now led by her son Bilawal Bhutto, is also in contention.

An exact time for announcement of the Pakistan general election results 2018 was not yet known, but a likely indicator was expected to emerge after midnight when news of ‘unofficial’ votes or results shall pour in.

Experts believe the election could result in a hung parliament, sparking further political turmoil in in the south Asian country.

Wednesday’s vote was marred by terrorism after a suicide bomber killed 31 people near a polling station in Quetta, western Pakistan.

Pakistani soldiers were drafted in to guard polling stations and prevent further attacks.

The election has been a fierce battle between Imran Khan’s PTI and rival party PML-N, former led by ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Nawaz Sharif was ousted and jailed over corruption charges earlier this month, leaving his brother Shahbaz to fill in.

Former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan ran his campaign vowing to bring change to the south Asian country and tackle corruption.

This morning, he tweeted: “This is the first time in four decades the nation has a chance to defeat the entrenched status quo.”

The historic election will be only the second civilian transfer of power in Pakistan’s history.

As polls closed, Imran was warned his vote could be disqualified after he cast his ballot in front of TV cameras.

Pakistan’s Election Commission claimed Khan had violated Pakistan’s constitution, which guarantees the secrecy of the ballot.

Pakistani women voted for the first time in several regions, including the ultra-conservative North Waziristan.