Asif Ali Zardari is reported to be in Islamabad tonight for an emergency strategy meeting with Nawaz Sharif and other party leaders amid widespread fears of rigging.
Results are coming in, but the picture can still change. The PML (N) and the PPP, formally known as the PPPP (Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians) to differentiate them from other PPP factions, are in front of the pack as far as National Assembly results are concerned. If they hold their joint lead then this will be a dramatic result but, I repeat, the night is still young.
Provincially, Balochistan has the pro-Musharraf PML (Q) leading substantially. Sindh, Bhutto heartland, sees the PPPP sweeping the Province as expected. In Punjab, Nawaz Sharif’s PML (N) is ahead, and in the tribal North West Frontier Province, the nationalist Awami National Party is way out in front.
Geo TV has a violence round-up just so we know what bureaucrats mean when they say the day has been “relatively peaceful.”
A clearer voting trend may emerge around 3:00am Pakistan time.