The Pakistan General elections, 1990 took place on 24 October 1990 to elect 217 MPs to the Pakistan Parliament, and resulted in surprise victory of Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA), a massive conservative front led under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif. The IDA compete for the Prime minister secretariat and initially campaign on privatization and national conservative polices, meanwhile the MQM, a liberal front, led under Altaf Hussain tightened its support in Sindh Province. The result was a victory for Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, which won 106 of the 207 seats. Voter turnout was 45.5%. On October 19, 2012 the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled on the 'Asghar Khan Petition' – a petition by Retd. Air Marshall Asghar Khan, heading up the Tehreek-i-Insaaf Party, requesting the court to probe into allegations that the 1990 elections were rigged. The court officially ruled that two Army Generals – Mirza Aslam Baig and Asad Durrani (Head of the ISI) – along with President Ghulam Ishaq Khan provided financial assistance to favoured parties. The motive, as was decreed by the SC, was to deliberately weaken the mandate of the Pakistan Peoples Party. It was believed that the PPP, led by Benazir Bhutto, was a liability to the nation.
By the start of the campaign reports suggested that Bhutto and the PDA were in a stronger position as the caretaker government failed to produce sufficient evidence to prove any charges against her.
At the end of the campaign Bhutto led hundreds of thousands of supporters in a procession in Lahore, while Sharif held a rally for about ten thousand nearby.
The outgoing party, the PPP/PDA, lost the elections. IJI won the popular vote by a very narrow margin of only around 100,000 votes, but the narrow victory in the popular vote translated into 106 seats for IJI against the PDA's 44 seats. The popular argument regarding PDA's huge loss of seats is that the PDA's vote, despite being almost equal to that of IJI, was much more spread out whereas IJI's vote bank was more concentrated. This resulted in PDA candidates losing in IJI won seats by narrow margins.