No political party has a definite majority in Pakistan's election as of yet, although candidates connected to imprisoned former prime minister Imran Khan have taken the plurality of seats.
Expectations were not met by the results, and Mr. Khan is declaring victory.
Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister, asserts that his party has become the largest and invites others to form a coalition with them.
Pakistan should put an end to its policies of "anarchy and polarisation," according to the army chief's message on Saturday.
The PML-N, led by Mr. Sharif, has started discussions with other parties about creating a unity government.
The official final results have not yet been released.
A statement attributed to Imran Khan claimed that his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party had won a landslide election, despite what he has called a crackdown on his party, in a resolute video message released on X that was created using AI.
"I congratulate each and everyone of you for winning the 2024 election... you have made history," the statement read.
Imran Khan claimed credit for a strong video message that was released on X and created using AI, stating that his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party had won handily, defying what he has described as a crackdown on his party.
"I congratulate each and everyone of you for winning the 2024 election... you have made history," the statement continued.
Since he claims the cases were politically motivated, Mr. Khan was found guilty and is currently incarcerated.
Most analysts concur that Mr. Sharif, who is thought to have the support of the nation's potent military, was the obvious favourite, which is why the PTI-affiliated candidates' surprising triumph came as a shock.
Since the PTI was disqualified from contesting the election, it is not registered as a party; therefore, in theory, Mr. Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), or PML-N, is the biggest recognised political organisation.
Since the political horse-trading has started in earnest, it may take some time before anyone can declare an absolute win.
Zulifkar Bukhari, the former special assistant to Mr. Khan, said on Friday on the BBC's Newsnight programme: "Knowing Imran Khan and our political party PTI, I don't think we'll be forming a government with any of the main parties."
Instead of running for office independently, we will, nevertheless, be forging a coalition in order to represent one party in parliament.
As the son of the deceased Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007, Bilawal Bhutto leads the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which is currently the third largest party.
According to numerous analysts, this election is one of the least credible in Pakistan.
Lahori voters informed the BBC that they were unable to schedule cabs to vote on election day due to the internet blackout, and some were unable to arrange with their family members on the best time to visit the polls.
According to a representative for the interior ministry, the blackouts were required for security reasons.
Analysts feel that Mr. Sharif and his party currently have the support of the Pakistani military, despite their historical disputes. For political success, the military's endorsement is considered crucial.
As an associate professor at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, Maya Tudor called Imran Khan's PTI's decision to seize the lead "shocking" given the history of the nation.
"A win would be remarkable - in every single other election in Pakistan's recent history, the military's preferred candidate has won," Dr. Tudor stated.
A total of 128 million voters were registered to vote, with over half of them being under 35. There were over 5,000 candidates running for 266 directly elected seats in the 336-member National Assembly, with only 313 of them being women.
Maleeha Lodhi, the former ambassador of Pakistan to the US, stated that her country "desperately" needed political stability in order to deal with "the worst economic crisis in its history".
Nevertheless, Ms. Lodhi expressed optimism, stating that Pakistan's election turnout demonstrates a "belief in the democratic process".