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HomeWorldPakistan elections: four provinces, mixed results, one message | Data

Pakistan elections: four provinces, mixed results, one message | Data

The results of the 2024 elections in Pakistan for the four provinces — Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan — match the National Assembly trend. Like the National Assembly, the political stability or instability in these four provinces post-elections is likely to be a repeat of 2022-23. The provincial elections are less likely to change the political situation in the provinces, despite nuances in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan.


The election results for the Sindh provincial assembly have not altered the situation drastically. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was ruling the province and will continue to do so. Of the 130 general seats in Sindh, the PPP has won 84 seats; in 2018 and 2013, it had won 76 and 91 seats, respectively.

The big difference this time is related to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). In the 2018 elections, the PTI had the establishment’s backing and the MQM-P was emerging from the shadows of Altaf Hussain and MQM. The MQM-P could win only 16 seats then, but in 2024, it has won 28, mostly from Karachi. This should mark the return of the Mohajir vote bank, and also the consolidation of the party. The MQM-P’s gain is the PTI’s loss. In 2018, the PTI emerged as the second-largest party with 23 seats. In 2024, the situation has reversed: the independents backed by the PTI have won only 13 seats.

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it has been a PTI tsunami. Of the 115 general seats in the assembly, the independents (mostly backed by the PTI) have won 90. All the other parties could secure seats only in single digits. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) or JUI-F, which emerged second, has won a mere seven seats. The PTI’s dominance of this province is absolute. Its performance was even better than its 2018 performance (65 seats).

Another major development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the decline of regional political parties. The Awami National Party (ANP), which once ruled the province, could only secure one seat for the provincial assembly and none for the national assembly. In the 2008 elections, the party had won 32 seats and had formed the provincial government (with the PPP).

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the PTI will continue to call the shots. It has already announced Ali Amin Gandapur as its chief ministerial candidate. As in Sindh, there is clarity in this province.


With the return of Nawaz Sharif, the jailing of Imran Khan, and the breakup of the PTI, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was widely expected to sweep the 2024 elections in Punjab. Of the 297 general seats for the Punjab assembly, the PML-N has won 137. On the other hand, the independents, including those backed by the PTI, have won 138. The PPP and PML-Q have won 10 and 8, respectively, while the Istehkam-e-Pakistan, the Tehreek -e-Labbaik Pakistan and Pakistan Muslim League-Z (PML-Z) have all won one each.

The question is: will the provincial government be stable? Even if the reserved seats are added to the PML-N, it will not get a simple majority in the 371-seat assembly, and will have to be dependent on the PPP, PML-Q, and independents. In 2023, there was continuous instability in the Punjab provincial assembly; there were multiple court interventions on who should be the chief minister. That year, Punjab saw three chief ministers from three political parties. In 2024, there is likely to be horse-trading. The process has already started with six independents willing to join the PML-N. Cases are likely to be filed in the courts from rigging to horse-trading, which are all likely to lead to instability.


Balochistan is the largest province area-wise, but has only 51 seats. As has been the case in previous elections, no single party has adequate seats to form the government. Of the 51 general seats for the Balochistan assembly, the PPP and JUI-F have secured 11 each, followed by PML-N (10). The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) has secured only four seats. Independents, including those backed by the PTI, have won seven seats, followed by the National Party (3), the Balochistan National Party (1), the ANP (2), the Balochistan National Party (Awami) (1), the Haq Do Tehreek Balochistan (1), and the Jamaat-e-Islami (1).

As has been the case in other provinces, we see the role of national political parties winning more seats than the regional ones. The PPP, PML-N, and JUI-F have won more than half the seats for Balochistan assembly vis-à-vis the regional political parties. Balochistan will remain a fragmented polity, as it has been for two decades.

The elections to the provincial assemblies have not resulted in any significant transformation. While Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will remain stable, Punjab is likely to see instability. Balochistan will remain fragmented; given the lack of regional voices in the governance process, the alienation in Balochistan will continue. The big parties are likely to call the shots in the provinces, while the regional parties may find their space restricted.

Femy Francis, Rohini Reenum, Dhriti Mukherjee, Shamini Velayutham & D. Suba Chandran are a part of ‘Pakistan Reader’, an area studies initiative at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru

Also read: Pakistan in turmoil: On the Pakistan elections and results

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