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Imran Khan Vows to Work with Nawaz Sharif on Terrorism

by AFP
Arif Ali—AFP

Arif Ali—AFP

Tensions between PTI and PMLN eased after Sharif visited Khan at hospital.

Imran Khan has vowed to cooperate with Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s next prime minister, on terrorism and other major challenges.

Khan made the remarks from his hospital bed, where he is laid up with a fractured spine after falling at a campaign rally on May 7, after his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf polled third place, behind Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).

“We have decided that despite the severe differences that we have, we will work together to resolve major national problems including terrorism,” Khan said in a video message aired during a PTI press conference. He harshly criticized Sharif and the center-right PMLN during the campaign for last Saturday’s general elections and had vowed to go into opposition.

Sharif pledged to work with Khan for the good of the country, after visiting the former cricket star in hospital on Tuesday.

Khan is credited with helping to inspire 60 percent turnout at the polls, having galvanized the youth and urban middle class in particular with promises to end corruption, introduce tax reform, and stand up to the Americans.

“Elections are over and we all as a nation want to move forward,” Khan said, adding he wanted all politicians and the military to sit down together and find a solution to domestic terrorism, which has killed thousands of people in Pakistan. “We cannot ensure prosperity until we eliminate the issue of terrorism,” he said.

Partial official results confirm PMLN on 123 seats, with the outgoing Pakistan Peoples Party on 31 and PTI on 26. Another 18 of the 272 directly-elected seats in the National Assembly are still to be declared.

Khan’s party won the most seats in the Taliban-hit northwest, where he has vowed to put together a provincial coalition government and turn it into a “role model” for the rest of the country. But he alleged Wednesday that vote rigging had taken place in 25 constituencies and said he would ask the Election Commission to order recounting in at least four.

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