by Obaid Abbasi
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) has geared up its efforts to make a religious alliance like Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) before the election 2018, it emerged on Tuesday.
Sources in the JUI-F told Pakistan Today that the party has decided to engage all religiopolitical parties so a grand alliance could be made before the general elections.
JUI-F is holding major events, celebrating the party’s 100 years in politics on April 8, 9 and 10 in Nowshehra. The event will be attended by clerics and other personalities from across the globe including Imam-e-Kaaba.
After this event, JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman is likely to hold meeting with leaders of religious political parties which includes Jamiat Ulema-e- Islam Samiul Haq (JUI-S), Jamaat-e- Islam (JI), Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Pakistan (MWM) and other smaller religious groups, sources in the party revealed.
It is noted that six religious parties had formed the MMA ahead of the 2002 general elections and were able to form independent and coalition governments in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan, respectively. However, the alliance fell apart in 2007 when JI decided to boycott the election but JUI-F contested the election and made an alliance with the PPP; JUI-F is still in alliance with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
According to the sources, JUI-F chief has given a task to its few senior leaders to engage other religious parties in making religious alliance before the election. “It is expected that Fazalur Rahman will meet all religious head in this regard soon,” sources in the party said.
The sources insisted that JUI-F chief believes that through a religious alliance, the party will bag much votes in the next elections and it would be in a position to bargain with the winning party.
Maulana Abdul Ghafoor, deputy chairman of Senate claimed that currently JUI-F has one target, which is the party’s 100 years celebrations; after that party will definitely engage all religious parties to form an alliance, like in past.
In reply to alternate strategy of the party, Maulana replied his party will try its best, otherwise JUI-F is in a position to secure maximum seats which were also secured in the past, independently.
JI may not agree to join the allies, as the party is currently a coalition partner of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in KP and PML-N in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
JI spokesperson Shahid Shamsi said the JUI-F has yet to approach JI this regard. However, he said, the decision will be taken to join hands for the alliance in the JI’s Majlis-i-Shura meeting.