Pakistan: Former PM Imran Khan stuns rivals with Punjab by-election upset

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has renewed his call for early elections after a stunning by-election upset saw his party take control of a crucial provincial assembly. His PTI party won 15 of 20 seats up for grabs in Punjab, beating their arch-rivals the PML-N on their home ground. The result is a foretaste of what could happen in a general election due by October 2023 but which could be sooner. Mr Khan was ousted as prime minister in a no-confidence vote in April. The result in Punjab is a major blow for current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who leads the PML-N. His already weak coalition government’s fate now hangs by a thread. Pakistan is reeling from unprecedented inflation and energy shortages – now political instability could spiral out of control. Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, has long been a bastion of support for the PML-N of Mr Sharif, and his older brother, three-time former PM Nawaz Sharif.(BBC)…[+]