Pakistan Islamic groups in alliance talks


Islamabad : Top leaders of Pakistan’s six mainstream Islamic parties are holding talks to revive an alliance which had been virtually dead since 2007, a participant said Sunday.

Support TwoCircles

The Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal or MMA had won many parliamentary seats in the 2002 general elections and also formed government in the northwest Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province.

MMA had also been part of the ruling coalition with Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) party in southwest Balochistan (2002-2007). It had over 70 seats in the former national parliament.

But the alliance collapsed ahead of the 2008 parliamentary elections as two major parties – Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) boycotted elections under then President Pervez Musharraf.

Heads and senior leaders of six major parties opened talks in Lahore on Sunday to discuss revival of the alliance, Prof-Sajjid Mir, chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ahli-hadith said.

Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Syed Munawar Hasan, chief of Jamait ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, Leader of Millat-e-Jafria Allama Sajid Ali Naqvi, Chief of Jamiat-e-Ahli-e-Hadith Sajid Mir, leader of Jamiat ulema-e-Pakistan (JUF) Abul Khair and some leader from JUI-S are attending the meeting.

All leaders are making efforts to resolve differences to revive MMA for the next elections, a source privy to the meeting said.

Jamaat-e-Islami leaders are urging JUI-F to quit the government as the party is part of the ruling coalition in the center.

Chief of Jamaat Syed Munawar Hasan has urged JUI-F to part ways with what he called pro-U.S. government under the Pakistan Peoples Party. JUI-F party has not yet decided to withdraw its ministers from the federal cabinet.

On the other hand JUI-F leader Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman says that his party has resolved some differences with the government after a team of the party met Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

JUI-F had been complaining that the party’s three ministers in the cabinet have not been given full authority to run affairs of their ministries independently.