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Has Pakistan rejected Islamist parties, not entirely


New Delhi, July 26: Pakistan has given the mandate to Imran Khan and his party the PTI. However the more interesting part of the result is that Pakistan has rejected the hardline Islamist parties, which also includes the one backed by Hafiz Saeed, the prime accused in the Mumbai 26/11 attack.

Pakistani voters pose with their national identity cards waiting in a queue to cast their votes in Rawalpindi, Pakistan

The results that have been trickling in show that not a single candidate from the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek floated by Saeed is either in the lead or even the second place. The party has around 50 candidates.

Another Islamist party, the Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan is trailing in one seat, but does not feature anywhere else.

While the rejection of Saeed is a good sign, there is a section of Pakistan which has however backed the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), which is led by turncoat politician and controversial cleric, Fazlur Rehman.

He has always been sympathetic towards the PTI, but as the results poured in, he too joined the PML-N and PPP in crying foul. He even decided to call for an all parties conference to discuss the results, which he termed as rigged.

Rehman has done several flip-flops in the past. With him realising that Khan is at a touching distance, he may just ended up supporting him if the need be. The MMA is a coalition of six right-religious political parties, headed by Rehman.

Observers say that he is most likely to back Imran Khan, in case the numbers are needed. Rehman has been known in the past to shift towards any party which is capable of forming the government. He was even criticised by Imran Khan for frequently changing sides. Khan had even joked that when a government goes out of power, it leaves behind the treasury and Fazlur Rehman.

The party is leading in nine seats, while the PTI in 119 seats. The PTI may fall below the majority mark of 137 seats and may require the support of the MMA.


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