Politics and Political Parties in Pakistan

Pakistan is a democratic country, came in to being on August 14, 1947. Many constitutions were implemented in Pakistan by different ruling parties. The present constitution is made under the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto the founder of Pakistan People’s Party in 1973. On the paper Pakistan is a democratic country but in reality Pakistan’s politics suffered much due to the Dictatorships enforced in Pakistan several times. The first ever martial law experienced in Pakistan was in 1958 by the Major General Iskander Mirza. Then with the passage of time many dictators ruled Pakistan like Field Martial General Ayub Khan, General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, General Zia ul Haq and then General Pervez Musharraf. After the 2013 General Elections in Pakistan several times the situation becomes like where the Army Chief could dismiss the Nawaz Sharif government by dissolving Pakistan National Assembly, but it hasn’t happened yet.

List of Political Parties in Pakistan:

Pakistan is a democratic country with a large number of Political Parties serving in different regions, Provinces or federally in Pakistan. Currently the ruling party in Pakistan is Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) after winning General Elections in majority in 2013 general elections.

Pakistan Muslim League-N:

Pakistan Muslim League-N emerged as a ruling party in federal after the general elections in Pakistan 2013. Main Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is leading the party since 1980s. He is the president of the party. Pakistan Muslim League-N smashed 190 seats in the National Assembly while the numbers of seats in Senate are 26 out of 104. Pakistan Muslim League-N won thrice the General Elections. PML-N won twice in 1990s and also in 2013. During PML-N tenure Main Muhammad Nawaz Sharif thrice became the Prime Minister of Pakistan. With the help of military dictator General Zia ul Haq Nawaz started politics and later in 1990s with the help of military support DG ISI General Hameed Gul he again won the elections. In 1999 when there was Army retaliation Nawaz Sharif successfully left the country and shifted to Saudi Arabia.

After many years living outside the country ion 2007 Nawaz Sharif came back to Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif himself started the campaign for the general elections in 2013 and won those elections with majority to form a government in Pakistan. Hence Nawaz Sharif took the oath for the third time as a Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Pakistan People’s Party:

Pakistan People’s Party was founded by the great man and a great leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1967. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto ran the campaign for the General Elections with the slogan of “Roti, Kapra aur Makan”. PPP also formed the constitution of Pakistan in 1973 which is implemented up till now. General Zia ul Haq hanged Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto till death and again the martial law was enforced in Pakistan. After Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto his daughter Benazir Bhutto took further the party and she won the general elections and became the first ever Prime Minister of Pakistan.

In 2007 when Benazir Bhutto came back to Pakistan and she started the campaign for the general elections, unfortunately in December 2007 she was assassinated in Rawalpindi Liaqat Bagh after she addressed the public gathering. After her assassination her husband Asif Ali Zardari took the charge of Pakistan People’s Party and won the general elections with majority and formed their government in Pakistan. In 2013 PPP lost the general elections but was able to form the government in Sindh Province with the collaboration of other parties.

Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf:

Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf was founded by Imran Khan the cricketer become politician on April 26, 1996. PTI always raises the slogan of “Change” a “NAYA PAKISTAN”. In the start there were very few people to support PTI and its agendas and policies. PTI struggled a lot in their initial days. In 2008 general Elections PTI boycotted the elections. But if you talk about PTI and Imran Khan, in 2011 PTI started its political activities and become very much active in politics.

Imran and his party PTI gathered a huge public in Lahore at Minar-e- Pakistan. Then Imran Khan and PTI displayed back to back their political power by gathering huge crowds at different venues and in different cities. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is also known as the party of youth. The youth of Pakistan always supported PTI in every thick and thin. There is a huge majority of youth in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as compare to any other political party of Pakistan.

In 2013 general elections PTI got the highest number of votes from all over the Pakistan but they only succeeded to form government with the help of other political parties in Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa. PTI has 32 seats in National Assembly of Pakistan.

Regional Political Parties in Pakistan:

The political parties which are active in a particular region and are minor political parties in Pakistan are:

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM):

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was founded by Altaf Hussain in 1978. MQM supports “Muhajir” in Sindh. MQM has a strong hold in the economic hub of Pakistan, Karachi. Due to the intelligence reports MQM military wings are spotted many times in non-state activities. Now the command of MQM is under Dr. Farooq Sattar and now MQM is operated from Pakistan.


Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam is a religious political party. Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam is controlled by Moullana Fazl-ur-Rehman. It has currently 15 seats in National Assembly and 5 seats in Senate. While 17 seats in the Provincial Assembly of KPK.

Awami National Party (ANP):

ANP was founded by Abdul Wali Khan. Now Asfandyar Wali Khan is the president of this party. This is a democratic party which supports Pashtoons. ANP has 3 seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan. ANP holds 7 seats in the Senate. In 2008 ANP won the elections in KPK Province and ruled there from 2008-2013.

Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan:

Jamaat-e-Islami is an Islamic religious party which has close collaboration with PTI in KPK province to form the government. Siraj ul Haq is the leader (Emir) of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. JI holds 4 seats in National Assembly, 1 seat in Senate and 7 seats in the provincial assembly of KPK.

The next general elections of Pakistan will be held in 2018. Almost every political party started their campaign.