Every political party is making its own strategy and plan to secure as many seats as possible in the parliament in the elections next year. With the Supreme Court’s verdict yesterday, the political temperature has risen considerably. The decision of the bench will have far reaching implications on the culture of democracy in the country.

Reports have confirmed that various religious parties have decided to make an alliance to contest the upcoming elections. Whether an alliance will benefit the religious parties is questionable however, as is the longevity of any such alliance in real terms. Religious parties have often banded together at the most opportune moment, only dissolve with infighting and disagreements over policy. The simple fact here is that even though religious political parties more or less have similar goals, the means to achieve them are starkly different, and the finer points of disagreement among various factions are always hard to ignore.

Though Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) contested the last two elections separately, chances are that it will also join the proposed alliance. While each party in this alliance sporadically manages to win a few seats here and there, their popular support is not reliable, and is often based on the individual competing on their ticket – sometimes, their victory has even come about simply because the other candidates in the constituency were seen to be comparably worse. JI still has a bad taste in its mouth from the MMA era, which is why an alliance may not be ultimately possible.

Thinking that a coalition will secure the voter base of various religious parties is a bit foolish. If these parties really want to serve the masses they need to have comprehensive plans for the problems that the country and its people are facing. Simply relying on the religious vote has not done them any favours in the past.