Imran Khan claims victory, says ready to serve Pakistan
Islamabad, July 26: Pakistan's cricket hero Imran Khan on Thursday declared victory in the country's controversial elections, as rival parties alleged poll rigging and counting of votes progressed slowly.
"We were successful and we were given a mandate," said Khan in a televised speech in Islamabad. "I came into politics because I wanted Pakistan to become the country that Jinnah had envisioned. This has been a historic election," he said, referring to the country's founding father.
In his first public address since his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as the single largest party in the general election, Khan shared his vision for Pakistan and pledged to safeguard the interests of ordinary citizens.
"I want to share the kind of Pakistan I envision - the type of state that was established in Madina, where widows and the poor were taken care of," the 65-year-old cricketer-turned-politician said.
"My inspiration comes from the last Prophet who set up an ideal welfare state in Medina. I want Pakistan to become like that. A humanistic not an animalistic state," he said in a speech made from Bani Gala in Islamabad that was broadcast via video link.
Khan said his guiding principles will be the same adopted by the last Prophet in setting up one of the "greatest civilisations".
"I pledge to our people that I will introduce a system that is for the masses, all policies will be for the people and not for the elite," he vowed.
"I will live humbly. So far we have seen that everyone who comes to power changes. That will not happen with me," he promised.
Khan said Pakistan was in "shambles" as a state and the country is facing its "biggest challenge" on the economic front.
"We are facing governance and economic challenges. Our economy has never been so abysmal. It's because institutions have not been doing their jobs," he said.
"Ours style of governance will be entirely different. The one never seen before. We will work for the betterment of the poor and downtrodden people," he pledged.
Khan has not officially been declared prime minister yet.
According to results and trends available so far, his party has won 76 seats and is leading in 44 seats, while its main rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was way behind with 65 seats.