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Fazl rejects establishment’s role in MMA’s revival

November 15, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman speaks at the ‘meet the press’ programme of the National Press Club on Tuesday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman speaks at the ‘meet the press’ programme of the National Press Club on Tuesday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday rejected the perception that the establishment is playing a role in efforts for the revival of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), an alliance of six religious parties formed before the 2002 general elections.

Speaking at the ‘meet the press’ programme of the National Press Club here, he said the parties which formed the MMA were of the opinion that its revival was the need of the hour.

The JUI-F chief said he had heard news circulating in the media that a ‘third force’ was making efforts for bringing various religious parties together on a single platform, like the alleged political engineering witnessed recently in some other parts of the country. But, he added, his party was making efforts for the MMA’s revival on the basis of ideology that it would help discourage sectarianism and religious extremism in the country.

Answering a question, Maulana Fazl defended the decision to include in the MMA the people who were once members of banned organisations or those whose names were included in the Fourth Schedule of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997. He said those who were facing cases would have to get their names cleared from courts to become part of the MMA. But those who were not involved in any case must be given a chance to become part of mainstream politics, he added.

Defends decision to include in alliance people who were once members of banned organisations

The JUI-F chief termed terrorism in Pakistan a part of international conspiracy to weaken the country.

He said the MMA had played an important role in discouraging sectarianism and religious extremism in the country in the past. He expressed the hope that after its revival the alliance of religious parties would again work for resolving issues between different religious groups of the country.

He said the MMA’s revival would give a positive image of Muslims and Islamist parties around the world.

Maulana Fazl said that soon after the formal revival of the MMA his JUI-F would quit the federal government and the Jamaat-i-Islami the coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said a committee had been formed to finalise recommendations for the MMA’s revival.

Answering a question, the JUI-F chief said the decision regarding the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should not be taken in haste. It was an important decision and should be given due consideration, he added.

The JUI-F chief, who is also chairman of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir, condemned Indian troops’ atrocities in held Kashmir.

He said the nexus between India and the US was creating instability in the region.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2017