Pakistan and Its Militants: Who Is Mainstreaming Whom?

Pakistani militants of various stripes collectively won just under 10% of the vote in the July 2018 parliamentary elections. Some represented longstanding legal Islamist parties, others newly established groups or fronts for  organizations that have been banned as terrorists by Pakistan and/or the United Nations and the United States. The militants failed to secure a single seat in the national assembly but have maintained, if not increased, their ability to shape national debate, mainstream politics, and societal attitudes. Their ability to field candidates in almost all constituencies, and, in many cases, their performance as debutants enhanced their legitimacy.
— Read on besacenter.org/mideast-security-and-policy-studies/pakistan-militants/

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