ISLAMABAD (Reuters) The religious parties are uniting behind their hatred of the United States, emboldened by a weak government that looks increasingly reluctant to stand up to extremism and a society where radicalism is widely tolerated. The prospect of these parties gaining strength is a nightmare for its ally the United States and neighbours including India and Afghanistan, which are already fighting insurgents based in Pakistan. But while there is little chance religious parties will be able to take power outright, they are becoming more prominent as anti-Americanism grows among ordinary Pakistanis. The government is struggling to respond to populist forces at precisely the moment when it aims to improve its position to secure a full term and better position itself for the 2013 elections, wrote analyst Maria Kuusisto of consultancy Eurasia Group in a research note. Elections could, however, come even earlier if the unpopular ruling coalition stumbles over a range of issues. These include rising fuel prices and other economic reforms mandated by the International Monetary Fund but reviled by the people and the governments handling of the case of US CIA contractor Raymond Davis who is on trial for murder. Religious parties, who traditionally have done poorly at the polls, stand a better chance if elections are held nowadays, analysts said. And if they increase their numbers in parliament, they could force a new government to the right, shake the alliance with the United States, including ending cooperation against the war in Afghanistan, and push the government into concessions with Taliban militants. There are strong chances for the revival of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amil (MMA), said politician Abdul Wahab Madni on the reformation of religious bloc from the early 2000s. And this time, other religious groups would also join. Farid Paracha, a senior leader in the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), said the alliance would win 60 percent of National Assembly seats if an election were held today. Analysts say his assessment is too optimistic, but gains are likely. They may get more seats than they got in 2008 elections, but they are not going to win all over, said Hasan Askari Rizvi, an independent political analyst. What theyre doing is trying to focus the whole thing on one or two issues. While they are able to draw big crowds to protests, the parties have never mounted much of an electoral challenge. Their best showing was in a 2002 election, when anger with the United States was at fever pitch after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, and the MMA won 59 of 342 assembly seats. MMA members later drifted apart and fared poorly in the last election in 2008. They now appear more determined to unite. The new bloc has yet to be officially launched but includes at least 18 parties representing most of Pakistans sects and factions, including Sunnis, Shias, Deobandis and Barelvis. Other groups involved include the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and the party of former cricket star Imran Khan. There are also banned groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Sipah-e-Sahaba. Hatred of the United States has papered over differences. All religious parties today are together because of the Raymond Davis issue and attempts to change the blasphemy law, said Liaqat Baloch, a leader in JI. Political analyst and author Ahmed Rashid said support for the religious parties had grown thanks to those issues and a failing economy. The mood is running very much against the existing parties, which are pretty failed, he told Reuters.