One of the greatest takeaways for the voters in this general elections was the lack of seats that the radical parties managed to win. This was one of the primary concerns of the masses in Pakistan, especially since in the last couple of years we have witnessed the mainstreaming of radical elements into Pakistani politics. The rise of Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLP) and their ability to shut down the capital for a good amount of time and Milli Muslim League (MML) managing to grab the third highest votes in the by-elections in Lahore was a sign of warning for the Pakistani populace because it reflected on the ground reality that the narrative of the party was becoming popular.
Nothing has plagued Pakistan more than these extremist players who cash in on the religious sentiments of the masses and manage to incite violence despite claims of being associated with religion. The way these hatemongers sabotaged the campaign of independent candidate Jibran Nasir in Karachi goes to show how these hooligans do not have an iota of respect for the democratic process neither are they well versed in the rules set by the concerned authorities. Several factions even managed to dismiss the refusal of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to even register them because of their extremist narrative.
Parties like these deserve nothing but the severe loss that they have just witnessed. This is the classic representation of Pakistani politics where extremist groups not only manage to spew hate but also end up taking innocent lives, however, the masses never choose them as leaders because this particular group of people do not understand the workings of modern state system and can only terrorise the land instead of effectively governing it.
The results of the both - national assembly and provincial assemblies show a clear disconnect of the populace with the narrative of the radicals. It also reinforces that fact that mainstream politics in Pakistan will always be shy of taking a radical stance. The challenge now lies with the government to effectively convert this lack of support into effective implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and work towards getting Pakistan off of the FATF grey list because we have not only lost several lives but also contributed generously to the cause of war on terror and that should be reflected in our national narrative and policies.