As the election day approaches, Pakistan’s major political parties are making the headlines day in and day out. However, there are a few far-right wing parties contesting this years elections as well. We’ve compiled a list of 7 such political parties, let us know how many you already knew about!
This party emerged out of a pro-Mumtaz Qadri movement. It contributed to the wave of violent protests following Salman Taseer’s murder. During this time the party galvanized itself and became a force to be reckoned with. More recently, its leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi claimed in one of his feverish dialogues that he would ‘wipe out’ Holland if he had the atomic bomb.
2) Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST)
PST’s original concern was to protect its Barelvi interests against the rival sect Deobandi. This translated into mob violence and targeted killing of Ahmadis, whom they label as non-believers. Furthermore, Sunni Tehreek is an unerring supporter of the blasphemy laws. More recently, the party lashed out against Shaan Taseer, who champions rights of minorities imprisoned under blasphemy laws.
3) Islami Tehreek Pakistan (ITP)
According to some sources, the party Tehrik-e-Jafaria Pakistan (TJP) is registered for elections under the name Islami Tehreek. The party initially emerged in order to protect Shias against persecution. TJP was banned many times for having links to terrorist organizations. Whether or not this is correct is a matter of speculation, as there is no concrete evidence for it.
4) Jamaat-i-Islami (JI)
This is a party that boasts a legacy of violence. When it was in power in Bangladesh, it carried out widespread rape and torture of people belonging to religious minorities. It has been suggested JI has links to Al-Qaeda. The party’s leadership tries to sell its violent precedent by calling it a reaction to ‘political oppression’. Furthermore, it aims to Islamise the entire world by ‘destroying’ states that oppose the Islamic ideology.
5) Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (JUI)
The party was for a time thought to be a supporter of the Taliban. Moreover, JUI is also allied with the controversial party Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) that was banned from contesting elections (and otherwise banned as well).
6) Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC)
This party was founded in 2009 to prevent terrorism and funded by the US to do so. The SIC has since then changed directions by expressing support for Mumtaz Qadri. Head of the council Sahibzada Fazal Karim says: “We are against extremism, but we support Mumtaz Qadri because he did a right thing.”
7) Allah O Akbar Tehreek (AAT)
The AAT is actually a front for The Milli Muslim League (MML). The MML is notorious for its affiliations with terrorists. Furthermore, its very leader Hafiz Saeed is included in the US list of terrorists. It has been tied to the group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that has fuelled terrorist activities in Kashmir. LeT is also thought to be behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
If any one of these parties ends up coming into power, Pakistan’s future will surely be precarious. While some of them do seem to be interested in reform, there is no telling if that really is their true agenda.