Government, Political Parties
military coup, Pakistan Muslim League, original party, martial law, Amal
Pakistanís founding nationalist party, the Muslim League, dissolved after martial law was imposed in 1958. The Pakistan Muslim League (PML) founded in 1962 bore little resemblance to the original party. The PML subsequently splintered into several factions. In the aftermath of the military coup of 1977, political parties were banned from 1979 until civilian rule was restored in 1985. Although political parties were not banned after the military coup of 1999, they could not participate in government because the parliament and provincial assemblies were dissolved. Many political parties participated in the October 2002 elections that restored civilian rule in Pakistan.
The main political groups are the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam), or PML-Q, a faction of the PML that generally supports President Pervez Musharraf and the military; the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), or PML-N, the PML faction that remains loyal to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif; the Pakistan Peopleís Party (PPP), led by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the largest party within the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (a 15-party pro-democracy bloc); and the Muthida Majlis-e-Amal (United Council of Action), an alliance of six hardline Islamic groups.
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