Islamabad : Much against the popular notion, not a single prominent religious leader has been able to make a cut in the Wednesday’s National Assembly elections of Pakistan.
Both emerging religious entities, the Khadim Rizvi-led Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s political front Milli Muslim League (MML), failed to secure any of the 14 National and 30 Punjab Assembly seats.
Interestingly, the extreme-right TLP had fielded two women candidates for National Assembly seats though none of the two — Sumera Noreen and Memona Hamid — ever appeared in the public to seek votes.
Using “Khatme Nabuwat” issue for its electioneering, the outfit managed to mobilize voters from certain pockets in Lahore but could not make any visible dent in the votes of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
Most of the TLP and MML presence was seen in the form of banners and flexes, as their polling camps and polling agents were seldom found in and around the polling stations.
Leader of Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (F) Maulana Fazal ur Rehman suffered a major shock as he was ousted by rookie candidates of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in two seats in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He contested the general elections from the two seats in the province, losing both by a fair margin.
Muttahida Majlis Amal’s leader Siraj-ul-Haq suffered a shock defeat in Lower Dir by approximately 17,000 votes.