Washington, Feb 22 : The Pakistan election's "real losers" were the Islamist parties and not President Pervez Musharraf, Iranian journalist Amir Taheri has written in an article.
He said that despite funding being provided by Tehran and wealthy Gulf Arabs, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) had failed to register the "approaching victory" that they had boasted about.
"The Islamist defeat in Pakistan confirms a trend that's been under way for years. Conventional wisdom had it that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the lack of progress in the Israel-Palestine conflict, would provide radical Islamists with a springboard from which to seize power through elections," the Daily Times quoted Taheri, as saying.
He also informed readers that till date no Islamist party has registered a majority vote in any of the Islamic countries where reasonably fair elections are held. If this is not the case then one thing is for sure that Islamist share of the vote has been on decline. "Far from rejecting democracy because it is supposed to be 'alien', or using it as a means of creating totalitarian Islamist systems, a majority of Muslims have repeatedly shown that they like elections, and would love to join the global mainstream of democratisation. President Bush is right to emphasise the importance of holding free and fair elections in all Muslim majority countries," he said.
"Tyrant rulers fear free and fair elections, a fact illustrated by the Khomeinist regime's efforts to fix the outcome of next month's poll in Iran by pre-selecting the candidates. Support for democratic movements in the Muslim world remains the only credible strategy for winning the war against terror," he added.