Former worldwide cricket star and socialite Imran Khan is confident that a victory in Pakistan's general elections on Wednesday will kick start a revolution for a country bedeviled by corruption and insecurity.
The vote was a rare democratic transition in the populous but poor nuclear-armed Muslim country, which has been ruled by the powerful military for roughly half its history.
It is a stunning rise for an anti-corruption crusader who spent much of his political career on the fringes of Pakistani politics. He was recently embarrassed by a tell-all expose by his former wife Reham Khan.
Meanwhile, as results kept trickling in, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani lost to PTI's Mohammad Ibrahim in Multan's Shujabad constituency. The results had been due by around 2 a.m. (2100 GMT on Wednesday). "The delay is being caused because the result transmission system has collapsed", secretary Babar Yaqoob told reporters.
Vote counting was temporarily stopped at 2am on Thursday after what was described as a "technical glitch" in the electronic reporting system.
The Pakistan Muslim League is the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
While polling stations officially opened for voting at 8 a.m., enthusiastic citizens queued up outside their respective stations as early as 7 a.m. Voting will officially end at 6 p.m. while as counting of the votes was being done simultaneously. According to the United Nations, 65% of Pakistan's population are under 30. "Prime Minister Imran Khan", although his party has officially held off on declaring victory.
On the upcoming foreign policy, Imran said Pakistan is facing major challenges on the global level and said that the government will establish good relations with the neighbours, such as China.
Khan, who captained Pakistan to their World Cup cricket victory in 1992, vowed to tackle widespread corruption while building an "Islamic welfare state".More news: Facebook shares nosedive, loses $130 billion over data breach scandal
The PML-N, which came to power in a landslide 2013 vote, has sought to cast this election as a referendum on democracy, saying it was campaigning to protect the "sanctity of the vote", a reference to a history of political interference by the military.
The final official results are still awaited, and it remains to be seen whether Khan will manage to achieve the majority mark required to form the government and give Khan a stable government to Pakistan.
But other voters in Lahore, capital of Punjab and traditionally a PML-N stronghold, said they were abandoning the party in favour of PTI.
The PML-N and the PPP both said their monitors in many voting centres had not received the official notifications of the precinct's results, but instead got hand-written tallies that they could not verify.
"It is a sheer rigging".
Haqqani, who is with the Hudson Institute think-tank, said the result was unlikely to change anything in Pakistan, unless the military-led establishment decides to shutdown its "jihad business" and recognises it as the source of the country's isolation and economic difficulties. The Election Commission of Pakistan ruled out any "conspiracy" in the delay.
A wild card in the election was the unexpected proliferation of candidates - more than 600 in total - from religious parties.
He is also widely believed to be backed by the army, which fell out with Nawaz Sharif, who looked to curb the military's traditional dominance in politics.
"22 years later, after humiliations, hurdles and sacrifices, my sons' father is Pakistan's next PM", she wrote. It's an incredible lesson in tenacity, belief and refusal to accept defeat.