Ex-Prime Minister Claims Victory in Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan TheStreet -- Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's former prime minister, was holding talks Sunday on forming a government after claiming victory in the nation's parliamentary elections.

Unofficial election results showed his Muslim League holding a large lead, although the party may need to form a coalition to give Sharif, who was deposed by a military coup in 1999, the support he needs to govern, according to BBC News.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal after the vote, Sharif said he did not anticipate problems with the country's powerful military establishment. He said the 1999 coup against him was not a military-wide initiative, but instead the personal initiative of Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Sharif's chief rival in Saturday's election, former cricket star Imran Khan, said he was pleased with the voter turnout, which broke records in some areas, but disappointed about reports of vote rigging, BBC News reported.

The Taliban had threatened to disrupt the election and attacks left at least 21 dead, including 11 in a bombing in Karachi, The New York Times said.

Nevertheless, this election paves the way for Pakistan's first transfer of power from one civilian government to another.