ISLAMABAD: The central parliamentary board of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) on Tuesday remained divided on the selection of its election candidates from Jhang and referred the matter to the supreme council of the alliance of religio-political parties, which will taken a decision in this regard after Eid.

The board started its two-day meeting here at the residence of Mian Aslam, naib emir of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), and discussed the lists of candidates belonging to Sindh and Punjab.

The central leaders of the five component parties agreed on the names of candidates for the National Assembly and provincial assembly seats from Sindh.

Selects candidates for national, provincial assemblies’ seats from Sindh

The meeting was chaired by Liaquat Baloch, secretary general of the JI and a central leader of the MMA, who later told the media that decision had been taken on almost all seats in Punjab.

“Only a few seats of Punjab remain undecided and the provincial parliamentary board of the alliance will discuss the matter again on Wednesday,” he said.

Some participants of the meeting told Dawn that candidates for the national and provincial assemblies’ seats from Jhang remained undecided.

According to them, there was a strong pressure from the Islami Tehreek led by Allama Sajid Naqvi for adopting an effective strategy to face the candidates fielded by the proscribed Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) in Jhang. The idea was supported by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan-Noorani (JUI-N).

ASWJ patron Allama Ahmed Ludhianvi is contesting the election from NA-115 (Jhang) from the platform of the Rah-i-Haq Party, whereas Masroor Jhangvi and Muawia Azam of the ASWJ have filed nomination papers from PP-126 (Jhang). The ASWJ is yet to take a final decision on its candidate for the provincial assembly seat.

Allama Arif Wahidi, secretary general of the Islami Tehreek, had stressed that his party leader (Allama Sajid Naqvi) should have the sole right to decide the MMA candidate for the two constituencies.

There are indications that the Islami Tehreek wants to support any of the two independent candidates — Abida Hussain or Sheikh Waqas Akram — who have filed nomination papers from NA-115.

But the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) is opposing the proposal.

“We oppose the ideas of granting MMA ticket to an outsider, extending support to any independent candidate or leaving the ground open,” a senior office-bearer of the JUI-F said.

On the second day of the meeting, the central parliamentary board of the MMA will discuss the candidates recommended by the provincial parliamentary boards of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Tuesday’s meeting was attended by Akram Khan Durrani and Muhammad Aslam Ghori of the JUI-F, Allama Arif Wahidi and Sikander Gilani of the Islami Tehreek, Liaquat Baloch and Professor Muhammad Ibrahim of the JI, Hafiz Abdul Karim of Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith and Muhammad Khan Leghari of the JUP-N.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2018