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In election-charged Pakistan, Mahathir makes an 'appearance'

24 July 2018

A former provincial minister and senior leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was on Sunday killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up near his auto in the troubled Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, police said.

According to police officer Zahoor Afridi, the candidate Ikramullah Gandapur from opposition leader Imran Khan's party, was returning home from a campaign event when the bomber struck in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, wounding him.

Pakistan is all set go to polls on Wednesday.

Durrani survived a suicide attack earlier this month that killed four people.

Shehbaz Sharif, the elder brother of Nawaz who leads the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), was quoted by Urdu-language news channel Express News as saying that he would visit Mahathir as well as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to learn from them and "make Pakistan a great nation".

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Khan himself has been accused of being linked to the country's powerful military. "ISI people get their choice of benches formed in the courts, cases are marked", he told lawyers in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. Rights defenders have long accused the ISI of kidnapping and torturing rights activists, journalists and dissenting voices.

Authorities have finalized the arrangements for July 25's general election in Pakistan.

Almost 106 million Pakistanis, including more than 19 million new voters, will be eligible to cast their ballots on Wednesday.

The military has warned of threats ahead of the polls and said it will deploy more than 370,000 soldiers for security on election day.

His brother, the former prime minister, had been treated like an animal, he added.

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As Pakistan gears up for election day on July 25, Pakistani celebrities have thrown their weight behind cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and his message of "Naya Pakistan" (New Pakistan).

"It was in your leadership skip @ImrankhanPTI that we became world champions in 1992. No one can doubt your Honesty and thats what is require in our country.An honest LEADER", tweeted former captain Waqar Younis.

Celebrities and sports stars have lent their support on social media with #BehindYouSkipper becoming one of Pakistan's top trending topics on Twitter.

In third place was the Pakistan People's Party of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 29, the son of two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007.

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In election-charged Pakistan, Mahathir makes an 'appearance'