Among the Disbelievers


After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and almost a decade of the dictatorial rule from Pervez Musharraf's Pakistan Muslim League, Pakistanis, it seems, are tiring of religious extremism. Having previously elected a coalition of pro-Taliban legislators, voters in North West Frontier Province have turned to the country's more secular parties to stop the bloodshed and get vital public services up and running. The AP reports:

Fed up with violence and broken promises, voters in Pakistan's deeply conservative northwest have thrown out the Islamist parties that ruled this province for five years — a clear sign that Pakistanis rejected religious extremism in a region where al-Qaida and the Taliban have sought refuge.

Instead, the voters here in North West Frontier Province, which borders Afghanistan, gave their support in Monday's national election to secular parties that promised to pave the streets, create jobs and bring peace to the turbulent province through dialogue and economic incentives to the extremists.

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Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, celebrates the election results in the Chicago Tribune.