Pakistani militants have created their own political party. Can it actually win votes?

In the past, Saeed said that democracy and electoral politics were not compatible with Islam.

The transformation of armed groups into political parties — or the creation of political fronts for banned groups — is far from rare. The inclusion-moderation hypothesis argues that radical parties moderate their behavior, and perhaps even ideology, once they join electoral politics. Seeking votes entices these groups to give up on radical tactics and accept the rules of the game. The logic of electoral competition compels them to broaden their appeal to larger segments of voters, thus diluting their ideological commitments.

Does the creation of the MML signal a possible moderation of the LeT’s tactics and ideology? The new party’s president, Saifullah Khalid, hinted at a willingness to play by the rules of the game and abide by Pakistan’s constitution. He even surprised many by acknowledging the importance of women in politics when he said, “We cannot ignore the responsibilities of women in society as they constitute around 50 percent of the population.”

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