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Imran Khan’s sister says Nawaz Sharif’s claim to election victory is an ‘insult to Pakistanis’ | World News

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Aleema Khan believes her brother inspired a revolution in Pakistan from behind bars on 8 February – delivered by young people and women who came out against the odds.

At her home in Lahore she said the focus is now on winning back those seats they believe have been unfairly taken from them through alleged vote rigging.

She said lawyers had visited Imran Khan and that he “sent out a very clear instruction that you have to go out, protest outside the returning offices and recover your seats. The ones that have been stolen.”

The government insists the elections were both fair and successful. But she firmly believes Pakistan has seen widespread voter fraud.

“It wasn’t Imran Khan’s vote that they took away”, she told me.

“They took away the right of 15 million people to recognise the symbol. That bat was a symbol that 15 million people who are illiterate recognise their candidate with.”

Imran Khan is currently in jail

The cricket bat was the symbol of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, banned just before the election.

PTI-backed independents won the most seats in the election, but not a majority.

And it was the trailing party of Nawaz Sharif, the man many thought the military wanted to run the country, who first claimed victory.

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He is now trying to do a deal with his opponents, rejecting any claims of fraud by his party. But Mrs Khan says her brother shouldn’t compromise.

“I can’t speak for my brother right now, but I’ll speak for myself,” she said.

“I would be so upset if you go and sit with people who were participants in the abuse, the human rights abuse, the women, the way they were abused, the homes that were broken into, the children that were threatened.

“I would never expect them to be supported.”

Read more on Pakistan’s election:
Pakistan is in political limbo after election upset – so what’s next?

Security officer dies after shots fired at ‘polling station’

Mr Sharif was the first to come out and claim victory saying his party was the largest party and that Pakistan doesn’t have the space for a fight.

Nawaz Sharif announced his plan to form a coalition government. Pic: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Nawaz Sharif. Pic: Reuters

Mrs Khan says Mr Sharif’s return to Pakistan from exile and the presumption some had in the establishment that he could take power again so easily, is an “insult to Pakistanis”.

She believes independents have a two-thirds majority and the right to govern.

The official results so far don’t show that. But they are being challenged in the courts.

The next few days will be full of horse-trading. But Mrs Khan believes there has been a seismic change in this election, whatever government is ultimately formed.

The will of the people, she says, can no longer be ignored.

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