90s PM Nawaz Sharif's PML-N Ahead in Early Returns in Pakistan, Imran Khan's PTI in Second

High turnout despite deadly violence


Pakistan's democracy turned a corner on Saturday with an impressive turnout after a blood-soaked run-up to the elections. In defying the diktats of the terrorists – who had threatened to dispatch suicide bombers to polling stations to scare voters away – Pakistanis displayed an overwhelming preference for democracy which the Taliban perceives as a Western construct.

Early trends established in counting put the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ahead with cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) giving many "electables" – a favoured Pakistani term for sure winners—a run for their money.