"None of our elections have ever been non-controversial," PML-N leader Khawaja Asif says

(Left to Right) PML-N leaders Maryam Nawaz, Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif at the stage during a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, on October 21, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — X@pmln_org

As the nation braces for the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) announcement of the poll results, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has acknowledged a "huge" voter turnout in favour of its arch-rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), however, it remains hopeful for its supremo Nawaz Sharif's fourth term as the country's prime minister.

The remarks were made by senior PML-N leader Khawaja Asif who, while speaking to Geo News, expressed hope the election results would be announced before sunrise.

His remarks come as ambiguity continues to surround the 2024 general elections due to rather unusual delay in results — a development further exacerbated by the government's decision to temporarily suspend cellular networks across the country.

Meanwhile, the 30-min deadline announced by the ECP ordering its provincial election commissioners and returning officers (ROs) to issue the poll results has also expired.

Continuing on his position in the NA-71 Sialkot-II constituency, Asif said that he as a lead of around 30,000 votes.

"One should refrain from commenting on mere 15% results [out of the total polling stations],” he said while referring to various speculations and rumours regarding the polls.

Recalling that the results for his constituency were announced the next morning in the 2018 elections, the PML-N stalwart said that one should wait for the final results announced by the ECP.

His remarks come as the politico is contesting against PTI-backed Rehana Dar, mother of former PTI leader Usman Dar, from the said constituency.

Meanwhile, senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal has expressed hope that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will soon announce the election results.

"I am in Narowal [and am] trying to gather results [from various polling stations]," he said.

Speaking to Geo News, the veteran politician said that the country needs a strong government that would have to carry on with the much-needed reforms in various sectors.

"The [next] government will have to engage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well," he noted.

Earlier, Geo News reported that PML-N leaders including Nawaz, Shehbaz Sharif, and Maryam Nawaz had prepared victory speeches but they left their party’s election cell in Lahore after a delay in results.

Senior journalist Raees Ansari, in a Geo News' special broadcast, attributed the delay to communication disruptions caused by mobile phone and internet shutdowns.

He revealed that representatives faced strict prohibitions when approaching returning officers, hindering information flow. Despite the uncertainty, sources suggest that all results will be compiled and submitted to the ECP once the communication barriers are lifted.

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