Pakistan Election Results
The Pakistan People’s Party, led by Makhdoom Amin Fahim, seems set to attempt to form a government in coalition with the Muslim League (QA) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. All three have a more or less secular orientation. PPP and ML (QA) are the two largest parties in parliament.
The European Union election observers declared the Oct. 10 elections substantially flawed. It is a widespread conviction that the Musharraf military government threw many seats to the Muslim League (QA). It also attempted to delegitimize the two major parties, the Muslim League (N) and the PPP, which many blame for the remarkable showing of the religious parties, a coalition of which came in third.
The religious parties cannot form a national government, but they control the Northwest Frontier Province and may attempt to impose their fundamentalism on its people. NWFP women appear to be afraid that they will be subjected, as had happened across the border in Afghanistan. The religious parties say they will press for an end to the US military presence in Pakistan.
Musharraf’s policies have all along contained important contradictions. He wanted to sideline the major parties; to hold elections; and to marginalize the religious parties. In fact he gave more attention to the first and totally failed in the last. U.S. security has certainly been damaged by this outcome.