Imran Khan ahead in Pakistan election polls amid rigging complaints

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion

A woman votes next to a soldier at a polling station during the general election in Karachi on Wednesday.

Khan's camp is increasingly getting confident, but still appears likely to fall short of a clear majority in the Pakistan National Assembly.

Newspapers and television channels have been predicting victory for PTI since late Wednesday.

With 48 percent of the total vote counted, Khan's PTI was listed by the ECP in its provisional results as leading in 113 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies.

On the upcoming foreign policy, Imran said Pakistan is facing major challenges on the global level and said that the government will establish good relations with the neighbours, such as China.

Mr Khan's former wife, broadcaster Jemima Goldsmith, tweeted her congratulations to the former Pakistan cricket captain ahead of the official result.

Khan apprised political parties leveling rigging allegations that members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) were elected by two big political parties.

"We continue to monitor developments and have consistently emphasised our support for free, fair, transparent and accountable elections in Pakistan, as we do around the world", a State Department spokesperson told the Press Trust of India.

But an official result time has yet to be announced by the Pakistan Electoral Commission.

Around 371,000 Soldiers have been deployed at polling stations across the country, almost five times as many as were deployed during Pakistan's last general election, in 2013.

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Hamdani said the situation was under control and voting was underway in Col Sher Khan village.

"This is an outright rigging and the results based on massive rigging will cause irreparable damage to the country".

"What they have done has pushed Pakistan back 30 years ..."

Supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-N party listen to speech of their leader during an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

A complaint was also received against former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for barring people from voting in Badin. Sharif has clashed repeatedly with the military over the years and was jailed this month on corruption charges, which he is appealing.

Counting has been very slow, yet from the outset former cricket star Imran Khan and his party have maintained a commanding lead.

The PML-N, in addition to alleging rigging at the polls, has accused the army of influencing the judiciary to deny it a second term. Nawaz Sharif was ousted from power previous year and jailed over a corruption conviction days before the vote, removing Khan's most unsafe rival. The PPP was leading in races for 42 seats. "We must resolve the main issue (Kashmir) with dialogue".

"Khan as prime minister is unlikely to challenge the army's authority on policies including national security, defense, and relations with India, Afghanistan, and the U.S.", Shailesh Kumar, Asia director at Eurasia Group in NY, said in a report.

Khan has been an outspoken critic of the US -led war in neighbouring Afghanistan as well as China's massive investment in Pakistan, which has racked up millions of dollars in debt to Beijing.

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