By Arif Qoreshi
Islamabad: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday announced the revival of the religious parties alliance Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA) without inclusion of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Jamiat Ulema Islam (S).
Speaking a press conference after the meeting , the JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the national security is facing dire threats and it was call of the hour to revive the coalition of religious parties in the country. “Even ideological values of the nation are being tried to be replaced,” he added.
When asked about the inclusion of jamat islami (JUI-F) chief told the media the issue of the Jamat Islami participation in the meeting was not discussed. He is also most likely to head the new MMA, sources in religious parties said.
Insiders claimed that Jamat Islami wanted Maulana Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) to cut off all formal and informal links with the Pakistan People’s Party-led government and finalize a proper formula before restoration of the Muttahida Majlis Amal. But the Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that restoration of the alliance should be announced first and these issues should be discussed later.
Maulana also considers Jamat Islami Amir Syed Munawwar Hasan a major hurdle in revival of MMA. He alleged that the JI leadership was demanding president ship of MMA besides 50 seats in the next general elections for Khyber pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly. However, the allegation was later denied by the Jamat Islami leadership.
When contacted Jamat Islami central leader Liaquat Baloch, he told The Fortress that his party is unlikely to join the alliance.
According to a local news paper Express Tribune Liaquat Baloch said that
“We congratulate them for reviving MMA and wish them all the best,” Baloch remarked. He claimed that JI had not been consulted so far. When asked what his party’s response would be if contacted by any of the other component parties, he replied, “We (JI) have already made our decision now.”
Meanwhile, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Sami, the founding party of MMA, also brushed aside its chances of joining the alliance.
Jamiat Ulema Islam (S) provincial chief Maulana Yousaf Shah claimed last month talking with journalists in Lahore that Maulana Fazlur Rehman was politically isolated and made the announcement of reviving the MMA to mobilize his party workers.
“JUI-Sami has abandoned MMA and will never become its part,” he added. Maulana Yousaf Shah announced that Maulana Samiul Haq, who is also the chairman of Defa-i-Pakistan Council (DPC), might form a new electoral alliance before next general elections.
Many believe if Jamat Islami of Syed Munwar Hassan and Maulana Samiul Haq’s JUI faction (JUI-S), which were the founder members of MMA’s original group, are not part of the new alliance then the vote bank of the religious parties will be divided and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal will not be affective.
The MMA had won the second largest majority in the National Assembly with 58 out of 342 seats and a majority in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assembly in the 2002 election.
Apart from Maulana Fazal Rehman, Professor Sajid Mir of Markazi Jamiat Ahl Haidth, Sahibzada Zubair Abu Alhair of Jamiat Ulema Pakistan, Allama Sajid Naqvi of Islami Tehrik and Pir Abdur Rahim Naqshbandi of Jamiat Ulema Islam(Senior) Participated in the Meeting.
The writer is an editor of thefortress.com.pk