The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Friday expelled four senior members of the party who had disapproved of the decisions taken under Maulana Fazlur Rehman's leadership as part of the opposition's anti-PTI government movement, an official said.
The four ousted members include senior party leader Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan and Maulana Shujaul Mulk.
The party's decision comes days after serious differences between JUI-F chief Rehman and former Council of Islamic Ideology chairman Sherani spilled out into the open, with the latter levelling serious allegations against the party chief and rejecting the politics of the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
The unanimous decision to expel the four members was taken by a meeting of the JUI-F central consultative council's disciplinary committee chaired by Maulana Abdul Qayyum Halejvi, the party's central spokesperson Mohammad Aslam Ghauri said in a statement.
"The expelled persons' statements and views will have nothing to do with the party," Ghauri added.
According to the spokesperson, the JUI-F central working committee and the provincial emirs had endorsed the decision during the meeting.
He said the expelled members had been sent copies of the decision.
Earlier this week, former MNA and senator Sherani, who also served as the provincial chief of the JUI-F, had emerged as the second important leader after Hafiz Hussain Ahmed from Balochistan to oppose Rehman's policies.
Party sources told Dawn at the time the rift deepened during the JUI-F elections that Maulana Sherani had rejected while criticising the party leadership for turning it into a "family party".
Maulana Sherani, who had been elected to the National Assembly and Senate on a JUI-F ticket in the past, said: “Maulana Fazlur Rehman himself is 'selected'. How can he taunt and call Imran Khan and others selected?”
Maulana Sherani was reportedly in contact with Hafiz Hussain and had asked party workers to join hands with him and leave the factions named after individuals.
Hafiz Hussain was considered very close to Rehman when he was made central spokesman for the JUI-F. But he was removed from the position after he started criticising some policies of the leadership when Rehman decided to join hands with the opposition parties and became the PDM convener.
Maulana Sherani, too, rejected the PDM's politics, terming it an unnatural alliance of the opposition parties.