MMA parties may reconsider JI’s future in alliance
JI leadership optimist about future of religious alliance
ISLAMABAD: The differences between Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) have reached an unbridgeable point as the MMA leadership is considering to take serious steps against JI, including expulsion from the alliance if the party does not mend its ways.
Well-placed sources told Pakistan Today that the marriage of convenience between JI and remaining four religious parties including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP), Jamiat Ahle Hadith and Tehreek-e-Islami (TI) faced a severe blow after JI’s unilateral decision to abstain from voting for election of the prime minister and the National Assembly speaker.
According to sources, since the revival of MMA, great ups and downs were encountered mainly over the respective share in the alliance but senior leadership managed tensions to maintain the alliance.
However, MMA President Fazalur Rehman was placed in an embarrassing situation because he was lobbying for Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate for the premiership slot and JI abstained from voting.
The MMA leadership was offended by JI’s unilateral decision and has decided to review JI’s participation in the alliance.
The JI leadership is also facing great resistance within the party to quit the alliance because party workers mainly attributed their shocking defeat in the general elections to the JI’s re-entry into the alliance.
According to sources, JI will decide whether to remain a part of the religious alliance after Eidul Azha because its workers were left unsatisfied ever since it joined the alliance.
If the JI fails to make a decision over the matter and continues to act unilaterally, the party could face an embarrassing exclusion from the alliance as the MMA leadership cannot justify and defend such acts in public.
Talking to Pakistan Today, JI chief and MMA Vice President Sirajul Haq defended the abstention move, saying that they had agreed in principle to support MMA’s candidate but not one from another party.
To a question about the future of MMA, he said that since it is an electoral alliance and members are elected on MMA tickets, they are bound to follow the decisions taken unanimously on MMA platform.
However, he explained that his party can take unilateral decisions on some issues as well.
Senior JI leader Mian Aslam said that the MMA will get stronger in order to deal with problems facing the country and would struggle against secular forces trying to damage social fabric of the country.
He acknowledged frictions between religious groups but denied the MMA alliance faced an existential threat in the immediate future.
Aslam also denied that MMA partners are considering to expel JI, adding that it is the JI itself which has kept the alliance intact.
However, MMA Central Information Secretary Awais Noorani said that the party may decide to expel JI and that all members are united in opposition to it.