Pakistan’s Imran Khan rallies supporters in Lahore ahead of July election

Pakistan’s Imran Khan rallies supporters in Lahore ahead of July election

Khan is a critic of Afghanistan’s government as a puppet of the US and has called for negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

imran khan pti rally

Photo: AFP

Populist opposition leader Imran Khan will rally his supporters in Lahore today as he ramps up campaigning in the lead-up to the July 15 general elections.

The ruling PML-N party of ousted PM Nawaz Sharif is favoured to return to power under Nawaz’ brother, Shehbaz. However, Khan’s PTI party performed credibly in the 2013 elections winning both second place with 17% of the vote and the governance of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in parallel elections.

Khan is a critic of Afghanistan’s government as a puppet of the US and has called for negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan. He faces an uphill battle to win government given the tribal and familial voting loyalties to the two established parties. As the third largest party in terms of seats, his best hope of gains is stealing votes from the other opposition party—the PPP. A more united opposition would give him greater influence to pressure Islamabad to take a more independent foreign policy from the US. Last year he called for Pakistan to reject all US aid as it “enslaves the country”.

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