The looming July 25 general elections in Pakistan have seen hundreds of candidates enter the political mainstream with backing from Islamic terrorist organizations and ardent supporters of the country’s blasphemy law, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) revealed this week.
Those convicted of violating the blasphemy laws that protect Islam against criticism can face life in prison or death. The law is often used to target Christians and other religious minorities, often with very little evidence against them.
A baseless accusation is enough to rile up a mob who'll personally slaughter the accused before the police even has the chance to arrest the "offender" and bring forward charges. This isn't hypothetical. This is exactly what happened to Mashal Khan last year.
Anyway, back to the upcoming election in Pakistan:
Together, Islamist hardliner groups — MMA (175), TLP (152), AAT (50), and TLI (18)— have fielded 395 candidates, more than the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N’s (PML-N) 195.
Even if the open Jihadists lose, the relatively moderate parties will have to become hardcore. Otherwise, they'll likely lose in the next election cycle.