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There are multiple political parties in Pakistan. Pakistan is a multi-party democracy but has seen various military governments as well. Since no one party has a chance of gaining power alone, parties work with each other to form coalition governments.
Parties active in national and provincial politics 
Major parties 
Major parties in Pakistan are mentioned below in order of the number of elected seats in the parliament.
- Pakistan Muslim League (abbr. PML; also PML "Nawaz group") is the largest political party in Pakistan. It is a fiscal conservative party that has been led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Through the help and support of establishment especially Hameed Gul, it won the election in 1990. It currently holds 7 seats in the Senate and whas on about 125 general seats of National Assembly of Pakistan in Pakistani general election, 2013. Although twice elected as Prime Minister (1990–93 and 1996–99), Nawaz Sharif was criticized for widespread corruption and extrajudicial killings by opponents specially MQM and other groups. Party supports strong and friendly relations with India, USA and EU. Party leadership holds an socially and religiously moderate stance. With passage of time PML-N is becoming more outspoken and conscious regarding its anti-establishment and pro status quo stance. Party is expected to form new government after latest elections held on 11th May 2013 and party leader Nawaz Sharif has been nominated to be next Prime Minister of Pakistan by party.
- The Pakistan Peoples Party was founded on November 30, 1967 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who became its first chairman and later 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan. PPP has been the largest political party in Pakistan. The party gained much popularity and support during the era of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The party won the Pakistani general election, 1970 on a socialist mandate of "Roti, Kapra, Makan" ("bread, clothes, shelter"). PPP took control of the country after the Indian-supported Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. After the first parliamentary term, PPP secured a landslide victory in Pakistani general election, 1977 to rule for next five years. PPP was an Islamic socialist party when formed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, but it became secular under Benazir Bhutto. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto wanted closer ties with China and more attention to the lower classes. Benazir Bhutto adopted fiscal conservative privatization policies in order to secure funding from the US and World Bank. Although twice elected Prime Minister (1988–90 and 1993–96), Benazir Bhutto was criticized for corruption and extrajudicial killings. The PPP currently holds 41 seats in the Senate of Pakistan. It was leader of ruling coalition of Pakistan during the period of March 2008 – March 2013. It formed the provincial government in Sindh, was official opposition in Punjab and was part of provincial governments of two smaller provinces (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan) during this period. Party could not perform well in Pakistani general elections, 2013 and could win only 32 seats of National Assembly of Pakistan and very small numbers of seats in all provincial assemblies except Provincial Assembly of Sindh.
- Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice) (abbr. PTI) was founded by Imran Khan on 25 April 1996 in Lahore, Pakistan. Founded initially as a socio-political movement, PTI began to grow slowly but never achieved immediate popularity. The general elections in 2008 were boycotted by the PTI. During the 2011–12, PTI has emerged as a robust counterweight to Pakistan's two traditional political parties, the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (N). While the PML-N's former stronghold consisted of the urban areas of Punjab and the PPP drew most of its support from Sindh, PTI maintains that it represents all Pakistanis, regardless of religious, ethnic, linguistic, and provincial backgrounds. Even though of little election success in the past, PTI has established itself as one of the country's mainstream national parties mainly after 30 October 2011 when over Hundred thousand people gathered in Lahore in support of the Party. PTI claims to have over 6 million workers in Pakistan. The party is an anti-status quo movement advocating for an egalitarian and modern model of Islamic democratic welfare state. PTI believes in pursuing a foreign policy based on a nationalist agenda arguing that terrorism, extremism, and radicalization have only increased as Pakistan has joined the US-led War on Terror. PTI believes that Pakistan must withdraw from this war, negotiate a peace settlement, and fight the battle against militancy on its own terms. In Pakistani general elections, 2013, party secured 32 general seats of National Assembly, became largest party in Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and second largest in Provincial Assembly of Punjab.
- Muttahida Qaumi Movement (United National Movement) (abbr. MQM) is generally known as a party which holds immense mobilizing potential in Muhajir community living in urban areas of Sindh province. The student organization, All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organization (APMSO), was founded in 1978 by Altaf Hussain which subsequently gave birth to the Muhajir Quami Movement in 1984. The organization maintains liberal and progressive stances on many political and social issues but MQM is heavily criticized for involvement in various violent and criminal activities in city of Karachi. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the alleged target of the Pakistan Army's Operation Cleanup against criminal groups leaving hundreds of civilians dead. In 1997, the MQM officially removed the term Muhajir (which denotes the party's roots of Urdu-speaking Muslims from present-day Indian regions) from its name, and replaced it with Muttahida ("United"). The MQM is one of few socially liberal political parties in Pakistan and organized the largest rallies in Pakistan in protest of the actions of al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001 demonstrating sympathy with the victims of the terrorist attacks. Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is the second largest party in Sindh and fourth largest in the country.
- Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Party) (abbr. JI), is a rightist and Islamist political party, advocating for an Islamic and democratic form of government in Pakistan. The JI was founded on August 26, 1941 in Lahore by Muslim theologian and socio-political philosopher Abul Ala Maududi. The party is led by an Emir (lit. Leader), and currently Syed Munawar Hasan is tenuring as Emir of JI. The JI is headquartered in Mansoorah, Lahore. Founded during British Raj in India, the JI moved its organization after the Partition of India to the newly created state of Pakistan, initially setting up its organizational mass in West-Pakistan. The members who remained in India regrouped to form an independent organization called Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. During the Bangladesh Liberation War, the JI opposed the independence of Bangladesh, but established itself there as an independent political party, the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami after 1975. The JI maintains close ties with international Muslim groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of an Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. The JI opposes Western Ideologies such as capitalism, socialism and secularism, and practices such as bank interest and liberalist social values but party advocates democracy as integral part of Islamic political ideals. In Pakistani general elections, 2013, party secured 3 seats of National Assembly and 7 seats of Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Political Spectrum of Pakistan - Ideological Comparisons 
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Famous regional political parties 
Parties in Parliament 
The Parliament of Pakistan is bicameral, consisting of the National Assembly of Pakistan and the Senate.
Former National Assembly 
Elections for 13th National Assembly elections were held on 18 February 2008. On March 17, 2013 The National Assembly was dissolved on completion of its five-year term under Article-52 of the Constitution. Pakistani general elections, 2013 were held on May 11th, 2013 for electing 14th National Assembly of Pakistan. Complete and final official results of elections are yet not declared. 14th National Assembly of Pakistan is expected to take oath during last month of May 2013.
See also 
External links