PM election further widens fissure within MMA


–MMA spokesperson blames JI for ups and downs in religious alliance


ISLAMABAD: The fissure in the interest-driven religious alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) has further widened as one of its major partner Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has abstained from participating in Friday’s PM election in the National Assembly in clear violation of the alliance policy.

MMA President and Chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman had made an all-out effort to convince Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to support joint nominee Shehbaz Sharif, however, his own partner went against the alliance policy and did not take part in the voting for election of the premier.

Sources told Pakistan Today that the differences within the religious alliance have reached to an unbridgeable divide and hence Fazl didn’t even bother to approach the JI leadership to take part in the voting process.

MMA is virtually on the verge of collapse and JI is likely to announce its formal withdrawal from the religious alliance within next few days since the leadership is under great pressure, they stated.

The JI Shura, in its meeting a few days ago in the Mansura headquarters, decided that the party would not participate in the voting in the PM’s election.

Talking to Pakistan Today, MMA Secretary General Liaqat Baloch said that JI supported the MMA candidate for the position of deputy speaker of the NA, however, he said that they are not bound to take part in the election for PM.

He said that since other political parties including Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and PPP did not honour their commitments to participate in the opposition protest demonstrations, hence the JI leadership decided not to participate in the election process.

When asked the MMA president was trying to convince PPP to take part in the election while its own ally did not agree with him, he said that it was the JI Shura’s decision and the party is free in its decision despite being part of the MMA.

On the future of MMA, he said that they would make all-out efforts to keep the religious alliance intact.

MMA Central Information Secretary Awais Noorani, when asked despite JI being part of MMA why it abstained from taking part in the voting for PM, he said JI was independent in taking decisions regarding internal affairs.

He said that the JI’s abstaining from voting process is not the violation of the MMA since it was the JI Shura decision.

He expressed optimism, saying that the MMA will be fine and it will not get damaged through such issues. He blamed the JI for the ups and downs in the religious alliance.

The JI senior leadership, especially it’s Amir Sirajul Haq, are under constant attack from their own party workers for joining the MMA since the shocking defeat in the elections.

A senior JI leader wishing anonymity told Pakistan Today said that the party will not participate in the JUI-F’s anti-government movement.

He said that they were in favour of raising voice against the flaws in the election process and other issues of public interests, however, he asserted that they will not take part in any act causing obstacles in the working of government.

It is pertinent to mention here that the JI chief had stated that they would not accept dictation from any side.


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