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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

Gaming CEO calls on industry to help fight climate change

"Catalyst Black." Screenshot: Super Evil Megacorp

Gaming CEO Kristian Segerstrale is calling on leaders in his industry to take action on climate change, after completing a $1.4 million fundraising campaign this summer.

Why it matters: Gaming's pandemic-fueled boom creates an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to do some good.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: The updated guidance, which exempts children under the age of 18 from the vaccine requirement, is intended to provide further clarity for airlines and foreign nationals who have been restricted from traveling to the U.S. since early 2020.

4 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.