In tribal Pakistan, religious parties are foundering

Since being swept to power in 2002 on a wave of anti-Americanism, religious parties in Pakistan have found the public mood has now shifted against them. Carlotta Gall reports from Peshawar in International Herald Tribune:

Senator Asfandyar Wali, the leader of an opposition party, the Awami National Party, is campaigning for the elections next week from the safety of his bed, under a quilt and propped up on bolsters for his bad back at his country home outside Peshawar.

Ill health aside, Wali is staying home because suicide bombers are seeking to kill him, his party has been warned by high-level government officials. There have been two bomb attacks on his party’s election gatherings in the last week. Two candidates have been killed, one in a suicide bombing and one in a shooting in Karachi. Yet despite the attacks and the limited campaigning, his party is expected to do well in the parliamentary elections on Monday.

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