Voting underway in Pakistan by-election

Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, departed for London on Monday to see her ailing mother, Kulsoom Nawaz.

Sharif was forced to step down in July following a Supreme Court ruling disqualifying him from public office over a corruption scandal that emerged from the Panama Papers.

Kulsoom Nawaz, who is now under treatment in a London hospital for cancer, offered thanks to the voters in a telephonic call, her daughter Maryam Nawaz said in her speech to thousands of supporters after unofficial results were announced.

Talking to reporters outside the court, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader and Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rahman said the court's decision was a "disappointment" for her party.

The petitioners got no relief - not even in respect of unique supervision and monitoring of the accountability courts by a judge of the Supreme Court who was part of the bench delivering judgement in Panama Papers case.

PML-N faces a strong challenge from the PTI party led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and the Pakistan People's Party of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Results are expected to be announced later in the day.

The petition was filed by Pakistan People's Party's (PPP) candidate for NA-120 Faisal Mir, who lost the September 17th by-polls to PML-N. The PML-N leader said that Dawn Leaks was a pressure tactic against her father. Sharif denies any wrongdoing. Nawaz Sharif told media that doctors have recommended additional surgery for her.

Meanwhile Dr. Yasmin accepted her defeat gracefully but vowed to approach the court against the Election Commission of Pakistan for registering 29,000 bogus votes in the constituency.

Sharif resigned but insists he was disqualified over a trivial charge.

Supporters of PML (N) chant slogans at a gathering after the announcement of by-election's unofficial results.

This Lahore constituency elected Nawaz Sharif thrice since 1990.

Also contesting Sunday's by-election are two new right-wing religious entrants to electoral politics in Pakistan, the Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan and the Milli Muslim League (MML).

  • Zachary Reyes