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Former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passes away

Former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died at 93 on Thursday, Narendra Modi confirmed on Twitter.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Vajpayee had been hospitalised in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for more than two months after being admitted for treatment of a kidney infection and chest congestion. He had suffered a stroke in 2009.

Vajpayee, who was elected as Indian premier thrice, was a Hindu nationalist who was seen as a skilled politician by his supporters. A former journalist and poet-turned-politician, Vajpayee is credited with helping lay the foundations for the meteoric rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — the political powerhouse that rules India today.




In 1998 he ordered nuclear weapons tests that stoked fears of atomic war with Pakistan but he later launched a groundbreaking peace process with Islamabad.

Critics accused him and his party of stoking public fears of India’s large Muslim minority. Both sides agreed he was that most rare thing in Indian politics: a man untainted by corruption scandals.

In 2014, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, by current premier Modi.

The Indian prime minister had visited him on Wednesday night and Vice-President Venkiah Naidu on Thursday.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted his condolences on the news and called the deceased a “true Indian statesman”.

“His leadership, foresight, maturity and eloquence put him in a league of his own. Atalji, the Gentle Giant, will be missed by one and all,” he said.

FO’s condolence message

The Foreign Office (FO) in Islamabad issued a statement of condolence on the former Indian prime minister’s death.

“We have learnt with sadness the passing away of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former prime minister of India, who was undergoing treatment in a hospital in New Delhi,” it said.

The statement adds: “Mr Vajpayee was a renowned statesman who contributed to bringing a change in India-Pakistan relations and remained a key supporter of SAARC and regional cooperation for development.”

Expressing solidarity with India, the foreign office said: “The government and people of Pakistan extend their heartfelt condolences to his family and to the government and people of India.”

China keen to work with PTI-led government

Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan, Yao Jing Thursday said that China is ready and keen to work with the upcoming Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government.

China work Pak

While talking to media he said, “Pakistan and China are true friends and the latter is ready and keen to work with the new government and the parliament.”




He said that the people of Pakistan reposed confidence in Imran Khan and the China would extend full cooperation to the new government in all the fields.

“Pakistan and China have deep rooted relations and ties between the two countries are time tested,” he added.

To a question about the meeting with PTI Chief Imran Khan, he said that the sitting was constructive and he found Imran Khan focused. He expressed the hope that bilateral relations between Pakistan and China would further strengthen and flourish in days to come.

Imran Khan time and again had said that Pakistan was eager to learn China’s experience in governance including anti-corruption, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and urbanization.

To another question he said, the invitation had not yet been extended to Imran Khan to visit China. However he said, Foreign Offices of both the countries were working on it and the Chinese government would welcome Imran Khan to China.

He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would benefit each part of Pakistan. To another question he said that meeting with PTI leader Asad Umar was focused on economic affairs.

Pakistan likely to borrow $4bn loan from Islamic Development Bank: report

Pakistan plans to borrow over $4 billion from the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank to bolster the country’s low level of foreign currency reserves, the Financial Times reported.

Asad Umar

The report said that two officials told the paper that the bank has agreed to make a formal offer after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan forms government as prime minister. The bank also expects Asad Umar, tipped for finance minister, to accept the offer.




In addition, a “senior advisor in Islamabad said the paperwork is all in place. “The IDB is waiting for the elected government to take charge before giving their approval.”

He termed the amount an “important contribution”.

Another official at the State Bank of Pakistan, who was part of negotiations with the IDB, confirmed the loan had the backing of the Saudi government, “which wants to play a part in rescuing Pakistan from its present crisis”.

Umar has previously said that Pakistan must decide by the end of September if it will go to the IMF to bail out its economy.

He reiterated his stance that Pakistan was examining other options as well as the IMF, including loans from friendly countries or remittances from overseas Pakistanis.

He spoke a week after the US raised fears that Pakistan could use any bailout from the International Monetary Fund to pay off debts to China.

Imran Khan’s PTI on top as election results come in

Election 2018 in Pakistan

Pakistan voted on Wednesday for the country’s second consecutive democratic transfer of power.

Polling began at 8AM across the country’s 85,307 polling stations and continued until 6PM despite calls by several major parties, including PML-N, PPP and PTI, to extend the polling time by an hour.




The parties had complained of “a slow voting process” and thus sought more time to facilitate voters — a request that was dismissed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The election campaign was marred by violence with three candidates killed in targetted attacks and culminated with a suicide blast outside a polling station in Quetta which claimed at least 29 lives.

However, undeterred, several of Pakistan’s nearly 106 million registered voters stepped out to cast their ballot, including women in areas where they previously stood disenfranchised due to various issues.

Doors of polling stations were closed as the clock struck 6PM. However, voters present inside were allowed to cast their votes.

As many as 12,570 candidates contested for a total of 849 seats of national and provincial assemblies in the country’s 11th General Election.

Counting then begun at the polling stations where the process was completed. Geo News started transmitting results from 7PM onwards as per the ECP’s code of conduct.

Preliminary, unofficial results showed the PTI, headed by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, leading the National Assembly tally. As party workers from across the country celebrated the results, the PML-N flatly rejected the ongoing outcome, citing “outright rigging” and accusing officials of preventing its representatives from overseeing the count.

The ECP denied the claims, saying a new electronic results system suffered unexpected glitches. Despite the technical issues, “these elections were 100 per cent fair and transparent”, said Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza earlier today, in his first comments after polls closed.

Unofficial and unconfirmed results from different constituencies started pouring in as the clock struck 7:00 PM on July 25, an hour after the polling process came to an end across the country.

Real-time preliminary results

NA-190: PTI’s Zulfiqar Ali Khosa wins NA-190 DG Khan 2 with 62,936 votes. Independent candidate Amjad Farooq Khosa stands second with 56,130 votes.

NA-257: MMA’s Maulana Abdul Wasay wins NA-257 Killa Saifullah with 30,000 votes, defeating JUI-NP’s Abdul Rauf who bagged 11,580 votes.

NA-205: Independent candidate Ali Mohammad Mahar wins NA-205 Ghotki 2 with 56,280 votes. PPP’s Ahsanullah stands at second place with 25,100 votes.

NA-29: PTI’s Nasir Khan Yousafzai wins NA-29 Peshawar 3 with 49,762 votes.

NA-7: PTI’s Muhammad Bashir Khan wins from NA-7, Lower Dir 2 with 62,416 votes. He was followed by MMA’s Sirajul Haq who secured 45,918 votes.

NA-68: PML-Q’s Chaudhary Hussain Elahi wins NA-68 Gujrat 1 with 74,680 votes. PML-N’s Nawabzada Ali Gul at second place with 34,820 votes.

NA-191: PTI’s Zartaj Gul wins NA-191 DG Khan 3 with 79,817 votes. PML-N’s Awais Leghari runner-up with 54,548 votes.

NA-130: PTI’s Shafqat Mahmood wins NA-130 Lahore 8 with 127,405 votes. PML-N’s Khawaja Ahmad Hassan at second place 104,625 votes.

NA-216: PPP’s Shazia Marri wins from NA-216 Sanghar 2 with 82,667 votes. The Grand Democratic Alliance’s Kashan Chand is runner-up with 70,135 votes.

NA-158: PTI’s Muhammad Ibrahim Khan wins NA-158 Multan 5 with 83,304 votes, defeating former PM and PPP leader Yousuf Raza Gilani who receveid 74,443 votes.

PP-12: PTI’s Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi wins PP-12 Rawalpindi 7 with 27,351 votes whereas Independent candidate Chaudhry Nisar at second place with 11,099 votes.

NA-188: PTI’s Niaz Ahmed Jhakkar wins NA-188 Layyah 2 with 103,305 votes whereas PML-N’s Mohammad Saqlain Bukhari stands at second place with 76,103 votes.

NA-64: PTI’s Zulfiqar Ali Khan wins NA-64 Chakwal 1 with 155,214 votes. PML-N’s Major Tahir Iqbal at second place with 13,051 votes.

NA-98: PTI’s Mohammad Afzal Khan wins NA-98 Bhakkar 2 with 136,238 votes whereas Indpendent candidate Rasheed Akbar Khan at second place with 132,445 votes.

NA-42: PTI’s Sajid Khan wins NA-42 Mohmand Agency Tribal Area 3 with 22,770 votes whereas Bilal Rehman, an independent candidate, is at second place with 21,076 votes.

NA-36: MMA’s Mohammad Anwar Khan wins NA-36 Lakki Marwat with 43,926 votes against PTI’s Ashfaq Ahmed Khan, who received 34,153 votes.

NA-77: PML-N’s Mehnaz Aziz wins NA-77 Narowal 1 with 111,216 votes whereas Independent candidate Mian Tariq Anis is runner-up with 61,918 votes.

NA-161: PTI’s Mian Muhammad Shafiq wins NA-161 Lodhran 2 with 121,638 votes. PML-N’s Mohammad Siddique Baloch received 116,093 votes at stands at second place.

NA-100: PML-N’s Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh wins NA-100 Chiniot 2 with 76,149 votes. PTI’s Zulfiqar Ali Shah runner-up with 75,827 votes.

NA-157: PTI’s Zain Qureshi wins NA-157 Multan 4 with 77,371 votes while PPP’s Syed Ali Musa Gilani at second place with 70,830 votes.

NA-118: PTI’s Ijaz Ahmad Shah wins NA-118 Nankana Sahib 2 with 63,987 votes while PML-N’s Shazrah Munsab Ali on second place with 60,764.

NA-6: PTI’s Mehboob Shah wins Lower Dir 1 with 54,723 votes while MMA’s Maulana Asadullah stands at second with 31,404 votes.

NA-151: PML-N’s Mohammad Khan Daha wins Khanewal 2 with 111,198 votes. PTI’s Ahmad Yar Hiraj on second place with 109,520 votes.

NA-81: PML-N’s Khurram Dastgir-Khan wins NA-81 Gujranwala 3 with 130,837 votes. PTI’s Chaudhry Mohammad Siddique runner-up with 88,166 with votes.

NA-53: PTI Chairman Imran Khan wins Islamabad 2 with 92,891 votes while former PM and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi runner-up with 44,314 votes.

PK-61: PTI’s Pervez Khattak wins PK-61 Nowshera 1 with 20,647 votes. ANP’s Pervez Ahmed Khan runner-up with 16,054 votes.

NA-30: PTI’s Sher Ali Arbab wins Peshawar 4 with 73,781 votes as MMA’s Arbab Najeebullah Khan stands second with 18,111 votes.

NA-66: PTI’s Chaudhry Farrukh Altaf wins Jhelum 1 with 112,356 votes. PML-N’s Chaudhry Nadeem Khadim second with 92,912 votes.

NA-63: PTI’s Ghulam Sarwar Khan wins Rawalpindi 7 (Taxila) with 64,301 votes as former PML-N leader and independent candidate Chaudhry Nisar stands at second place with 48,497 votes.

NA-153: PML-N’s Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir wins Khanewal 4 with 106,291 votes. PTI’s Malik Ghulam Murtaza Maitla comes second with 76,920 votes.

NA-120: PML-N’s Rana Tanvir Hussain wins Sheikhupura 2 with 99,674 votes. PTI’s Ali Asghar Chaudhry is the runner-up with 74, 165 votes.

NA-224: PPP’s Zulfiqar Bachani emerged victorious in NA-224 Tando Allahyar election after he attained 80,230 votes. GDA’s Mohammad Mohsin stood runner-up with 51,536 votes.

NA-52: PTI’s Khurram Shehzad Nawaz won election in NA-52 Islamabad-1 by bagging 64,690 votes. He was trailed by PML-N candidate Tariq Fazl Chaudhry, who secured 34,072 votes.

NA-124: PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz won election in NA-124 Lahore-2 by bagging 139,443 votes. He was followed by PTI candidate Nauman Qaisar, who secured 69,251 votes.

NA-119: PTI’s Rahat Amanullah won NA-119 Sheikhupura-1 polls securing 126,025 votes. He was trailed by PML-N’s Rana Afzaal Hussain, who attained 103,572 votes.

NA-171: PML-N’s Riaz Hussain Pirzada won election in NA-171 Bahawalpur-2 with 59,500 votes. He was followed by PTI’s Naeemuddin Waraich, who secured 53,109 votes.

NA-150: Independent candidate Syed Fakhar Imam won polls in NA-150 Khanewal-1 by securing 82,595 votes. PTI’s Mohammad Raza Hayat Hiraj stood runner-up with 71,034 votes.

NA-194: PTI’s Nasrullah Dareshak won NA-194 Rajanpur-2 election by securing 75,209 votes. Dareshak was followed by independent Hafeezur Rehman Khan Dareshak, who attained 60,311 votes.

NA-71: PTI’s Mohammad Ilyas Chaudhry has won the polls in NA-71 Gujrat-4 bagging 87,181 votes. PML-N’s Chaudhry Abid Raza Kotla stood runner-up with 79,946 votes.

NA-190: PTI’s Zulfikar Ali Khosa has emerged victorious in NA-190 Dera Ghazi Khan-2 polls by securing 62,936 votes. Khosa was followed by independent candidate Amjad Farooq Khosa, who bagged 56,310.

NA-12: PTI’s Nawaz Khan has won the election in NA-12 Battagram by bagging 21,200 votes. Khan was followed by MMA’s Mohammad Yousuf, who attained 16,789 votes.

NA-137: PML-N’s Saad Wasim Akhtar won the polls in NA-137 Kasur-1 by securing 38,077 votes. Akhtar was followed by PTI candidate Sardar Asif Ahmed Ali, who could only secure 11,359 votes.

NA-17: PTI’s Umer Ayub Khan won election in NA-17 Haripur after he attained 166,786 votes. PML-N’s Babar Nawaz Khan stood runner-up in the polls with 149,292 votes.

NA-16: PTI’s Ali Khan Jadoon has emerged victorious from NA-16 Abbottabad-2 by securing 91,770 votes. Jadoon was followed by PML-N candidate Malik Mohammad Awan, who bagged 57,995 votes.

NA-155: PTI’s Amir Dogar has won the election in NA-155 Multan-2 by attaining 88,567 votes, unofficial and unconfirmed results from all polling stations suggested. PML-N candidate Sheikh Mohammad Tariq Rasheed stood runner-up with 71,457 votes.

NA-5: PTI’s Sahibzada Sibghatullah wins NA-5 Upper Dir polls by bagging 49,299 votes, according to unofficial and unconfirmed results from all polling stations. PPP’s Najmuddin Khan stood runner-up with 28,736 votes.

NA-193: PTI’s Jaffer Khan Leghari has won the polls in NA-193 Rajanpur-1 with 87,915 votes, unofficial and unconfirmed results from all polling stations suggested. Leghari was followed by PML-N’s Sardar Sher Ali Khan Gurchani, who could secure 55,409 votes.

NA-156: PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi wins polls in NA-156 Multan-3 by securing 93,500 votes, unofficial and unconfirmed results from all polling station suggest. PML-N’s Amir Saeed Ansari stood runner-up with 74,624 votes to his credit.