LAHORE, May 6: Though in contact with both the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Tehreek-i-insaf, the Jamaat-i-Islami finds the PTI more suitable for an electoral alliance.

Speaking at a convention of his party candidates here at Mansoora on Sunday, JI Ameer (head) Munawar Hasan said his party workers did not have a good opinion about the PML-N, given the party’s track record.

“The JI workers are very sensitive to the present political situation of the country, as they are observing the on-going developments keenly. Keeping in view their (workers’) feedback the JI leadership is of the view that as the previous record of the PML-N with reference to certain political commitments is not so good, the electoral alliance with the PTI will be better,” Mr Hasan said.

He, however, said that though the JI was in contact with the PTI through various meetings the parties were holding, a final decision on entering into an electoral alliance with the party was yet to be taken.

The JI head, admitting that both the PML-N and PTI enjoyed considerable influence in Punjab, regretted that the former’s leadership was behaving unwisely.

“With reference to Punjab, the PML-N and the PTI are very important parties. But we have certain reservations about the past behaviour of the PML-N. And even now the PML-N leadership’s behaviour seems to be childish, as Mian Nawaz Sharif who is a national leader is not fulfilling his commitments he has been making with the nation on various national issues in his public rallies and press statements. Recently, he (Mian Sahib) said the PML-N would soon call an ‘All Parties Conference’ on the issue of Balochistan. But, he didn’t do anything in this regard.”

Similarly, Mr Hasan also criticised Nawaz Sharif for not taking on board other parties with regard to launching an anti-government movement or so-called ‘long march’.

“He (Nawaz Sharif) had said that he would invite all opposition parties to jointly initiate a long march against the government.

But, again he didn’t contact any party in this regard,” Munawar Hasan added.

He said the JI leadership believed it should be very careful if it decided joining hands with the PML-N in future.

But, there was a consensus among the JI circles that the PTI would be a better option than the PML-N for forging an electoral alliance, he added.

On revival of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), Mr Hasan said his party had strong reservations about JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who, he said, had a ‘soft corner’ for the PPP-led government.

“We are very astonished that on one hand Maulana Sahib talks about MMA’s revival, while on the other he was not ready to leave chairmanship of Kashmir Committee. Besides, the JUI-F is also enjoying membership of the Islamic Ideological Council, another official body,” he deplored.

He said the Maulana wanted that MMA should be revived without going deep into the reasons behind its collapse in the past. Mr Fazl also didn’t want to discuss electoral seat adjustment prior to MMA’s revival.

“So we want Maulana to immediately announce his party’s disassociation with the government and resolve all issues with us (JI) if he is serious in reviving MMA. We want to ensure these things to avoid another collapse of MMA (if revived) in future,” the JI chief said.

He, however, said in the present scenario the chances of MMA’s revival were becoming bleaker due to JUI-F chief’s behaviour.

Mr Hasan urged the JI candidates for the next elections to focus on their constituencies, reviewing the previous poll results, campaigns, voting pattern etc.

“But, I believe that as none of the parties will have convincing majority in the next general elections, it is right time for the JI candidates to work hard and ensure their victory,” he said, adding that the JI would prefer to contest elections on a slogan “Apna Parcham---Apna Nishan” as it had contested 1970 polls on the same slogan.


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