New Delhi, July 26: With Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-insaaf (PTI) set to emerge as the single largest party in the general elections, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said "this is a perfect result for the Pakistani military".
Early results in Pakistan elections show Imran Khan with a clear lead amid claims by rival parties that the poll had been "blatantly" rigged.
"I think it was completely predictable. For the last year also we have been hearing that the military wants a change, they want to get rid of Nawaz Sharif and his party and that they see Imran Khan as the most pliable potential," Tharoor told news agency ANI.
"Imran is largest single party but without majority by himself. He'll depend on independents & small parties' support, almost certainly MMA - which will follow military instructions which means if he does things military considers out of line, support can be pulled," he added.
Tharoor said that the Pakistan military would want to ensure that the Prime Minister "doesn't get out of hands or doesn't get too independent".
The 65-year-old former cricketer's PTI was ahead in 119 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies, while its main rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was way behind with 65 seats. The Pakistan People's Party was leading on 44 seats while others were ahead in 17 seats.
While final results are expected in the coming hours, initial outcomes show that the PTI would emerge as the single largest party in the National Assembly. Pakistan's National Assembly comprises a total of 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected whereas the rest - 60 seats reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities - are selected later through proportional representation among parties with more than five per cent of the vote.
A single party will need at least 137 of the directly elected seats to be able to form the government on its own.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs