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May 10, 2013

Pakistan marks democratic milestone in close-fought election

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan goes to the polls on Saturday for an election that will bring the first transition between civilian governments, but the milestone’s significance may be lost on some voters who have lost faith in politics after years of corruption and misrule.

Widespread disenchantment with the two mainstream parties appeared this week to have brought a late surge of support for former cricket star Imran Khan, who could end up holding the balance of power if there is no clear-cut winner.

May 10, 2013

Imran Khan gains in Pakistan vote, haggling over government expected

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Former Pakistan cricket star Imran Khan’s party was enjoying a late surge of support on Friday, the eve of a landmark election, raising the prospect of a fragmented parliament that could lead to weeks of haggling to form a coalition government.

The failure of other parties to capture a commanding lead raises the risk a weak government will emerge, clouding optimism over the first transition between civilian governments in a country that has been ruled by the military for more than half its history.

May 10, 2013

Imran Khan gains in Pakistan vote, Sharif remains frontrunner

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Former Pakistan cricket star Imran Khan’s party was enjoying a late surge of support on Friday, the eve of a landmark election, raising the prospect of a fragmented parliament that could lead to weeks of haggling to form a coalition government.

The failure of the major parties to capture a commanding lead raises the risk a weak government will emerge, clouding optimism over the first transition between civilian governments in a country that has been ruled by the military for more than half its history.

May 10, 2013

Khan gains in Pakistan vote, haggling over government expected

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Former Pakistan cricket star Imran Khan’s party was enjoying a late surge of support on Friday, the eve of a landmark election, raising the prospect of a fragmented parliament that could lead to weeks of haggling to form a coalition government.

The failure of other parties to capture a commanding lead raises the risk a weak government will emerge, clouding optimism over the first transition between civilian governments in a country that has been ruled by the military for more than half its history.

May 9, 2013

Ex-Pakistan PM Gilani’s son abducted as Taliban threaten poll

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Gunmen kidnapped the son of a former Pakistani prime minister on Thursday as fears of election violence were raised by a letter from the leader of the Pakistani Taliban revealing plans for suicide bomb attacks on polling day to undermine the vote.

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, in a message to the group’s spokesman, outlined plans for attacks, including suicide blasts, in all four of the country’s provinces.

May 9, 2013

Pakistan Taliban plan to attack landmark election

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s Taliban plan to carry out suicide bombings during Saturday’s election in a bid to undermine the poll, according to a letter from the leader of the militant group.

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, in a message to the group’s spokesman, outlined plans for attacks, including suicide blasts, in all four of the country’s provinces.

May 9, 2013

Pakistani army vows to protect voters in landmark election

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s military said on Thursday it will send tens of thousands of troops to polling stations and counting centers to prevent the Taliban from disrupting Saturday’s election after the insurgent group’s attacks in the campaign killed over 100 people.

The election, already Pakistan’s most violent, marks the first time that a civilian government will complete a full term and hand over to another administration.

May 8, 2013

Pakistan’s Sharif calls for warmer ties with India

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Nawaz Sharif, seen as the front-runner in Pakistan’s election race, said he would not allow militant groups to attack India from his country and would work to improve ties with rival New Delhi if elected.

“If I become the prime minister I will make sure that the Pakistani soil is not used for any such designs against India,” Sharif told CNN-IBN in an interview.

May 8, 2013

Nawaz Sharif calls for warmer ties with India

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Nawaz Sharif, seen as the front-runner in Pakistan’s election race, said he would not allow militant groups to attack India from his country and would work to improve ties with rival New Delhi if elected.

“If I become the prime minister I will make sure that the Pakistani soil is not used for any such designs against India,” Sharif told CNN-IBN in an interview.

May 6, 2013

Newsmaker: Nawaz Sharif poised to take over mess in Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) – After 14 years out of power, Nawaz Sharif is a man in a hurry.

As his motorcade speeds to another campaign rally ahead of a general election next week, the politician tipped to be Pakistan’s next prime minister is frank about what he will inherit – “a mess”.