PESHAWAR: The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) — a conglomerate of five religious parties — has launched its election campaign from Peshawar with a pledge to win general polls and form governments at the Centre and in the four provinces.

Addressing a rally at a ground along Ring Road on Sunday, MMA chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman urged people not to vote for what he called the agents of the West as they had done in the 2013 polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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He said that vested interests had tarnished the image of Pakistan and portrayed it as a secular and liberal state.

He said the experiment of 2002 was successful when the MMA swept elections in the province and the people of KP would repeat it on July 25. He said the MMA would remove the sense of deprivation among people.

Arbab Najibul Haq joined the JUI-F at the rally after quitting the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf which did not give him a ticket for NA-30 Peshawar-IV. The JUI-F has given its ticket to Arbab Najib, but the MMA’s central body has yet to endorse it.

Interestingly, speakers from the JUI-F criticised the PTI for its government’s failure in KP, while leaders of the Jamaat-i-Islami, which was a coalition partner of Imran Khan’s party, rep­roached the Awami National Party, which remained in power from 2008 to 2013.

JI chief Sirajul Haq said other parties did not have a programme to end corruption and make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state. He said the people would hold corrupt elements accountable in elections, adding that NAB had failed to recover looted wealth from the corrupt people.

JI leader Liaquat Baloch urged people to defeat liberal and secular forces in the elections to pave the way for enforcement of Sharia in the country.

Before addressing the rally, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Senator Sirajul Haq held a meeting to hammer out differences over distribution of tickets.

MMA provincial spokesman Abdul Wasay said that the alliance had already developed consensus on 33 National Assembly seats and 81 provincial assembly seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2018