Lahore | Former premier Nawaz Sharif on Friday urged rival political parties to join hands to form a stable coalition government to rebuild Pakistan, saying all institutions should together play a positive role in bringing the cash-strapped country out of its difficulties.
Addressing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supporters at the party's central secretariat here, 74-year-old Sharif said his party respects the mandate of all parties, including the independent candidates backed by jailed former premier Imran Khan's party.
Sharif, the three-time former premier, said that there is a need for all the political parties to sit together and form a government to pull Pakistan out of its difficulties.
"We can’t hold elections again and again,” he said. “We were all sitting together yesterday but didn’t address you because the results were not in.”
"We are inviting everyone today to rebuild this injured Pakistan and sit with us,” he said as the country appeared heading towards a hung parliament.
"Our agenda is only a happy Pakistan and you know what we have done before."
He said that all the institutions should together play a positive role in bringing Pakistan out of this crisis.
"Everyone should sit in harmony and bring Pakistan out of the difficulties," he added.
Sharif announced that he has tasked his younger brother and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif to reach out to the Pakistan Peoples' Party's Asif Ali Zardari, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) chief Fazlur Rehman and Muttahida Qaumi Movement's Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui for the formation of a coalition government.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) data shows that results of 139 constituencies have been declared, which include 55 independents (mostly supported by PTI), PML-N 43, PPP 35 and other seats going to smaller parties.
Votes are still being counted after Thursday's general election which was marred by allegations of rigging, sporadic violence and a countrywide mobile phone shutdown.
To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 in the National Assembly. Election to one seat was postponed after the death of a candidate.
Overall, 169 seats are needed to secure a simple majority out of its total 336 seats, which include the reserved slots for women and minorities.