Formed in: 1988
Published July 16, 2018

Formed in: 1988

The JUI-F was formed from within the ranks of the JUI, a party that itself had taken shape from the cadres of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind (JUH).

Top leaders

  • Maulana Fazlur Rahman
  • Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan
  • Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani
  • Akram Khan Durrani
  • Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri

Key concerns

  • Establishment of Sharia as a system of governance
  • End of co-education
  • Madrassas degrees will be equal to those issued by official government institutions

2018 elections

JUI-F is contesting from the MMA platform which is fielding candidates from 189 NA seats. Out of these, 72 seats are from Punjab, 53 from Sindh, 38 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 15 from Balochistan, eight from Fata and three from Islamabad.

2013 elections

In the 2013 elections, JUI-F 15 out of 272 general seats in the National Assembly

Previous elections

In the 2008 elections, the party contested from the MMA platform, which secured a total of 47 general seats. In the 2002 elections, the party won 41 seats in the National Assembly. The party won two seats in the 1997 polls. In 1993, it contested from the Islami Jamhoori Mahaz (IJM) platform, which ended up securing a total of four seats in the polls. In 1988, the party won seven National Assembly seats.

Major political plays

  • In the past, the JUI-F offered to mediate between the Pakistani Taliban and the government but changed its position on that front later on after its chief was targeted in suicide attacks carried out by militants.

  • The party opposes US drone attacks inside Pakistan’s northwestern tribal regions and has every now and then voiced its criticism of what it calls the government’s pro-US policy.

  • The JUI-F chief has served as chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir and his party has a staunch position on the issue. Fazlur Rehman says there is a need to prioritise Kashmir as far as Pakistan's foreign policy is concerned and to extend moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people.

  • In the wake of the 2008 election, JUI-F joined the PPP-led coalition government at the centre and remained a part of the federal cabinet until December 2010. The party decided to sit on the opposition benches after its differences with the PPP grew to the extent of becoming irreconcilable.

  • JUI-F has been a consistent PML-N ally since 2013. However, it has also formed coalitions with religio-political parties. In the 2018 election, the party again became part of the broader MMA alliance of religious parties.

  • In past elections, it has supported the idea of keeping women away from polling stations. However, this time around the party has changed its position on women’s enfranchisement, launching a full-scale campaign to bring female voters to polling stations in the 2018 general elections.

Criticisms and controversy

  • JUI-F has opposed the merger of KP and Fata, which its chief Fazl says is not in accordance with the wishes of the tribal people. Fazl has also suggested a referendum in order to understand what the people of Fata want. He however says he wouldn’t oppose the region’s mainstreaming, which he emphasises isn’t the same as a merger with KP. The decision to merge Fata with KP was however taken earlier this year without JUI-F on board.

  • The party’s policy with regard to women’s rights and the role of women in society has been a matter of contention in various circles. The JUI-F has previously boycotted discussions on laws addressing domestic violence, terming it a “conspiracy to promote western culture” in Pakistan. The party has also opposed anti-child marriage legislation, and has called it unIslamic.

  • JUI-F legislators, who secured NA seats from the MMA platform in 2002, backed Musharraf in passing the 17th Amendment in 2003. The amendment gave the president power to dissolve the National Assembly.