Colombo (News 1st) - Jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan gave an AI-generated victory speech from prison, as his Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party was on track to win the largest number of seats in Pakistan's parliament, although falling short of an absolute majority, Pakistani media reported.
The latest count on Saturday morning showed PTI-linked independents having won 99 of the 266 seats, with Shariff's PMLN winning 71, and Bhutto's PPP with just 53. A majority would need to be 133 seats. Votes for another 43 seats were still being counted.
The victory came as a surprise to many, with the PTI seemingly in tatters with Khan and many other party leaders in prison, following a massive government crackdown on the Opposition. Khan was convicted in three cases over the past two weeks, including an alleged false marriage, revealing state secrets - linked to a leaked official message that he denies, and allegedly selling presents gifted to him by foreign leaders when he was PM.
Former PM Nawaz Shariff backtracked on his claim of victory for his Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) and said he would try to form a coalition government with the rival Pakistan People's Party (PPP) headed by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of late PM Benazir Bhutto.
Khan's PTI candidates were forced to run as independents after the Election Commission of Pakistan stripped the PTI of its familiar cricket bat symbol.