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The army is the real victor in Pakistan's election

Military muzzled established parties in favor of Khan

| Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan
Imran Khan, who has claimed victory in Pakistan's election, will be under pressure to keep his military backers happy.   © Reuters

The just-ended election should have been a moment of celebration in Pakistan.

It was, after all, only the second time in its 70-year history that the nation experienced a civilian transition. Yet as election results trickled in with interminable delays due to unexplained "software problems," widespread reports of heavy-handedness by military personnel posted in polling stations and usurpation of ballot boxes by presiding officers, the electorate's mood steadily darkened until it was anything but celebratory.

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