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Supporters of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a Pakistani religious parties alliance, at a rally in Karachi. Photo: Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images

MASTUNG, PAKISTAN — Political leaders from multiple parties accuse Pakistan’s military of misconduct in the lead-up to the July 25 general election. Aslam Raisani, a politician from an impoverished rural district, tells Al Jazeera the military has intimidated voters and offered incentives to switch loyalties, from installing electricity transformers to offering to release relatives allegedly "disappeared" by the intelligence services.

The bigger picture: The military has ruled Pakistan for roughly half of its 70-year history, since independence from the British in 1947, and has been at the centre of allegations of "political engineering" before an election that would see the country's second civilian-to-civilian handover of power. The military denies any involvement in politics, saying it supports the democratic process.

The allegations:

  • The ruling PML-N party says corruption charges against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was arrested along with his daughter last Friday, are politically motivated, and that the military engineered his removal after pressuring the judiciary, a charge both deny.
  • Last Tuesday, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) politician Farhatullah Babar told a press conference that at least three PPP candidates had been threatened by people identifying themselves as military officers.
  • In Balochistan, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) is suspected to be the face of the alleged engineering. BAP went from inception to fielding 58 candidates across the province within weeks. Leaders of other parties say this is evidence the scales were tipped in its favour.

Go deeper: Read the full report on Al Jazeera.

Go deeper

Supreme Court rejects second GOP effort to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, for the second time in two days, rejected a GOP request to shorten the deadline mail-in ballots must be received by North Carolina officials to be counted.

The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.

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Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of global vaccine development — including why the U.S. and China seem to going at it alone — with medicinal chemist and biotech blogger Derek Lowe.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.