Religious groups have jumped into the Pakistani electoral fray in a big way ahead of the 2018 elections. The Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan party (of Faizabad sit-in fame), for instance, has alone fielded more than 150 candidates for National Assembly seats across the country.
What then will be the impact of religious parties on the results of the July 25 polls?
Not a big impact, according to a majority of the 18,136 respondents to Dawn.com's online election survey. Only around 9 per cent of those who took the survey believe the religious groups will have a major impact on the election results.
Q. To what extent will the following impact the outcome of the elections?
Though religion plays an important part in the lives of most Pakistanis, the religious political parties have remained unable to gain much success in elections since 1970.
Historically, the religious parties’ share in the votes cast in any election has fluctuated around five to seven per cent, barring the 2002 poll under Gen Pervez Musharraf when the MMA won 11pc of the total cast vote and 56 NA seats. It also formed its government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and was part of the coalition in Balochistan.