“We were successful and we were given a mandate,” Mr Khan, who aspires to be the country’s next prime minister, said in a televised address to the nation, adding that he promises a “new” Pakistan.
Pakistan’s election commission has not yet released official, final results but Mr Khan has maintained a commanding lead according to projections by many television stations, though it’s unclear if he will have to form a collation government.
Mr Khan’s message of a “new” Pakistan resonated with young voters in a country where 64 per cent of its 200 million people are below the age of 30, according to a United Nations report.
More than a dozen TV channels in Pakistan, based on official but partial counts, are projecting — using their own, undisclosed methodologies — that Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party is getting as many as 119 seats of the 270 National Assembly seats that were contested.
Earlier, Khan’s first wife, British socialite Jemima Goldsmith tweeted her prediction that Mr Khan would be PM.