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‘Serious concerns’: World reacts to Pakistan polls as vote count continues

Countries including the US and UK called for authorities to investigate reported irregularities in Pakistan’s election.

Several countries have called for authorities to investigate reported irregularities in Pakistan’s general elections as vote counting is under way.

Results started to trickle in nearly 12 hours after polling for national and provincial assemblies ended on Thursday.

Independent candidates affiliated with imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), are taking a narrow lead.

Polls were marred by violence by armed groups and a widely criticised suspension of mobile phone services that prompted accusations of “political engineering”.

The army said about 12 people were killed and 39 wounded nationwide during attacks aimed at disrupting the vote.

Here are some global reactions to events so far:

The US Department of State has said it is looking forward to “timely, complete election results” from Pakistan reflecting the will of its people.

“The United States is prepared to work with the next Pakistani government, regardless of political party, to advance our shared interests,” it said in a statement.

“We join credible international and local election observers in their assessment that these elections included undue restrictions on freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly,” it added.

“We condemn electoral violence … and are concerned about allegations of interference in the electoral process. Claims of interference or fraud should be fully investigated.”

The United Kingdom voiced “serious concerns raised about the fairness and lack of inclusivity of the elections”.

In a statement, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said “not all parties” were able