List of political parties in Pakistan

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Pakistan is a multi-party democracy that at times has been subject to military government. The country has many political parties and it is common for the country to be ruled by a coalition government. The Parliament of Pakistan is bicameral, consisting of the National Assembly of Pakistan and the Senate. The main political parties in Pakistan are listed below in alphabetical order.


Mustaqbil Pakistan[edit]

Mustaqbil Pakistan (MP) is a political party founded in 2010 by a group of professionals looking to bring about a change in politics in Pakistan. The main emphasis of the party is to bring people of competence, integrity, and honesty into Pakistani politics. The founders of the party allege that the root cause of all of Pakistan's travails - poverty, corruption, terrorism, sectarian violence and lawlessness - are all due to a single root cause: that the people who are now in Pakistan's politics do not have the necessary competence, integrity, honesty and even desire to run the country.

Awami National Party[edit]

In 1986, the Awami National Party (Popular National Party, ANP) was founded by Abdul Wali Khan. It is a leftist, secular party that promotes Pashtun nationalism, democratic socialism, public sector government, and economic egalitarianism. It supports ties with Afghanistan, India, and the US.[1] The ANP holds 7 seats in the senate and 3 seat in the National Assembly. Asfandyar Wali Khan, grandson of Bacha Khan is the incumbent president of the ANP. Between 2008 and 2013, it was part of the ruling PPP led coalition.[2] It performs well in Pashtun dominated areas in and around Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Balochistan and Sindh provinces.

Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan[edit]

On 26 August 1941, Lahore, the rightist, Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), by Abul Ala Maududi, a Muslim theologian and philosopher. It aims to create an Islamic democracy in Pakistan ruled under Sharia law. The JI elects its leader (emir) in along democratic lines; Siraj ul Haq is the incumbent emir. After the independence of Pakistanin 1947, JI moved its base to West Pakistan (remaining members formed the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind) and during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, opposed the independence of Bangladesh, but in 1975, established there an independent political party, the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. JI now has its headquarters in Mansoorah, Lahore. JI has an association with international Muslim groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. JI holds 4 seats in the National Assembly, one seat in senate and 7 seats in the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (F)[edit]

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Assembly of Islamic Clergy, Fazl-ur-Rahman Group, JUI-F) is an ultra-conservative religious and theocratic party which, in 2002, formed a ruling coalition with Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and with the PML(Q) in Balochistan. It currently holds 15 seats in the National Assembly, 5 seats in the senate, 17 seats in the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 8 seats in the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan. Its economic policy is socialist and moderate.[3]

Muttahida Qaumi Movement[edit]

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (United National Movement, MQM) was founded in 1978 by Altaf Hussain (who went on, in 1984, to found the Muhajir Quami Movement) from the student organisation, the All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organization (APMSO). It is supported by the urban Muhajir community of Sindh.[4] The MQM is socially liberal and democratic. In 1997, the MQM officially removed the term Muhajir, which refers to Urdu-speaking Muslims and replaced it with Muttahida (United). Between 1992 and 1999, the Pakistan Army, in Operation Cleanup, attempted to suppress the MQM.[5] On 11 September 2001, the MQM condemned attacks by al-Qaida in the US with public demonstrations.[6]

Pakistan Awami Tehreek[edit]

The Pakistan Awami Tehrik (Pakistan People's Movement) is a politically radical, ideologically centrist and religiously moderate political party. Populist sufi cleric Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is its founding chairman. In 1990, Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) participated in the national elections just one year after it was founded. In 1991, PAT and TNFJ (Tehrik-e-Nifas-e-Fiqh-e-Jafria, a shia political group) now known as Tehrik-e-Jafaria signed a 'Communique of Unity' to promote social and religious harmony. PAT enjoys considerable support among religious but moderate lower middle class of the country. PAT has a very organized and disciplined organizational structure and highly trained workers. However, party's entire political influence is based on agitation and public demonstrations. Party's vote bank and electoral power is considered to be limited unlike the PPP-P or PTI.

Pakistan Muslim League - N[edit]

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a wealthy industrialist, is the leader of the largest political party, Pakistan Muslim League-N.

Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML Nawaz group, or PML-N) became Pakistan's ruling party after a decisive victory in Pakistani general elections, 2013. It holds 16 out of 104 seats in the Senate[7] and 190 seats in the National Assembly.[8] Prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been it leader since 1980s. Sharif who is basically a businessman from Lahore emerged into the mainstream Pakistani politics with support of the military dictatorship of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and later in 1990, became prime minister of Pakistan with the assistance of powerful military establishment specially DG ISI General Hameed Gul. He and his party (PMLN) ruled the country for two different tenures in 1990s. His second government was overthrown by army chief Pervez Musharaf in a military coup. Nawaz succeeded in saving his life and money with the diplomatic support of Saudi Arabia and left Pakistan for eight year. He came back in 2007. PMLN is a fiscally conservative party which holds moderate religious and social policies. It promotes strong and friendly relations with India, the US and the EU.

Pakistan People's Party[edit]

On 30 November 1967, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), an Islamic socialist party, was founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1928 - 1979). The PPP won the 1970 general election on a socialist agenda of Roti, Kapra, Makan (bread, clothes, shelter). It supported ties with China and ruled Pakistan after the separation of Bangladesh in an Indian-led war in 1971. After first parliamentary term, the PPP succeeded at the Pakistani general election of 1977. Under Benazir Bhutto, the PPP became a secular party that promoted privatisation in order to secure funding from the US and the World Bank. From March 2008 to March 2013, it was leading party of ruling coalition. Party faced defeat in elections of 2013. The PPP currently holds 41 senate seats and 42 national assembly seats.[9]

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf[edit]

Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan leads Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf under the slogan, "Change".

On 25 April 1996, in Lahore, the Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI), a social democratic and radical political movement, was founded by Imran Khan. The PTI boycotted the 2008 general elections but became more politically active in 2011. The PTI claims to represent all Pakistanis regardless of religion, ethnicity, language or residence. It aims to create a modern, egalitarian Islamic democratic welfare state.[10][11][12] The PTI promotes a nationalist agenda, arguing that terrorism, extremism, and radicalization have increased since Pakistan joined the War on Terror. Party emerged as country's second most popular party in 2013 elections. PTI currently holds 32 seats in the National Assembly. It is ruling party of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Regional parties[edit]


Mustaqbil Pakistan 02
Pakistan Peoples Party 41
Pakistan Muslim League (N) 14
Awami National Party 12
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) 07
Muttahida Qaumi Movement 07
Pakistan Muslim League (Q) 05
Balochistan National Party (Awami) 04
National Party (Pakistan) 01
PkMAP 01
Tribal Areas 08
Independents 04
Total 104

National Assembly[edit]

Affiliation Members
PML(N) 189
PPP 44
PTI 32
MQM 24
JUI (F) 12
PML (F) 5
JI 4
PML(Q) 2
Others 7
Independents 8
 Ruling coalition majority

Members of the PML(N) are marked in bold text

There is a new political party Tehreek-e- United Pakistan whose Chairman is Shah Inayat. The stronghold of this party in Sachal Goth, Karachi.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Pakistan" The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency Accessed 5 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Pakistan's 'Gandhi' party takes on Taliban, Al Qaeda". Christian Science Monitor 5 May 2008 Accessed 9 May 2008.
  3. ^ [1] Daily Times, Pakistan. 14 December 2008.
  4. ^ "Pakistan: Human rights crisis in Karachi." Amnesty International 1 February 1996. Accessed 26 July 2009.
  5. ^ Haq F. "Rise of the MQM in Pakistan: Politics of Ethnic Mobilisation." Asian Survey, University of California Press 1 November 1999 35(11) p990 - 1004 doi=10.1525/as.1995.35.11.01p00677 Accessed 3 August 2009.
  6. ^ "MQM is a liberal and democratic party: Altaf." Daily Times, Pakistan 26 May 2008. Accessed 17 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Party wise list." Government of Pakistan.
  8. ^ "Members' listing." Government of Pakistan.
  9. ^ "Senate position" Government of Pakistan.
  10. ^ Khan S. M. "Pakistan's creation pointless if it fails to become Islamic welfare state." Pakistan Tribune 27 June 2012. "Imran Khan said on Wednesday that Pakistan’s creation had been pointless if the country fails to become an Islamic welfare state."
  11. ^ Michaelsen M. "Pakistan's dream catcher." Qantara 27 March 2012. "Iqbal's work has influenced Imran Khan in his deliberations on an Islamic social state."
  12. ^ "Constitution of Pakistan Tahreek e Insaaf" Insaf party website.
  13. ^ GEMC ([Upddated]). "Election Results 2013". Geo Election Monitoring Cell. Retrieved 28 May 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Irfan Ali Shaikh. "Acid test for MQM". October 04, 2002. Daily Times. Retrieved 16 May 2013.