Religious politics of Pakistan is as old as Pakistan itself. Moulana Abul Kalam Azad and Amir Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madni, in very early days of the Pakistan movement, opposed the creation of a separate country and advocated provincial autonomy of India with some national institutions including Army, Currency etc. with centre. Ulema-e-Deoband, especially Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, on the other hand, backed the creation of Pakistan and supported Quaid’s efforts and in this way in the form of Objective Resolution, a constitutional base was provided in the very inception of the creation of the country. Moulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, the then Amir of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, waved the flag of Pakistan for the first time. Jamat-e-Islami and other political parties have playing pivotal role in the country’s politics from the day one.
In formulation of 1973 constitution, declaration Qadianis as non-Muslims and then in Tehrik-e-Nizam-Mustafa, the leadership of JUI including Moulana Mufti Mehmood, Moulana Ghulam Hazarvi, Moulana Abdul Haq, and Moulana Abdullah Darkhwasti played fundamental role.
Admittedly, Moulana Fazl Ur Rehman, the present leader of JUI, people might have difference with him on certain issues, has presented a progressive, accommodating and liberal political face of the party. Now when the party is part and parcel of federal government, the role of JUI is nothing practical and this fact is seriously felt among the circles of JUI. Despite the fact that JUI has been playing crucial role in containing PTI, the rival competing party of PML (N), but still the JUI now seems disappointed of the cold attitude of the ruling party. Although the JUI members of National Assembly have been attributed ministries but departments are still not allotted. Moreover, in the peace talks with Taliban, JUI was utterly ignored and then on the issue Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO), the party was not given its due worth.
The JUI senior leader and former Senator Moulana Gul Naseeb Khan told Weekly Pulse that the party’s decision to distance itself from the federal government and to resign from the ministries was final and unchangeable. He was of the view that in the form of the newly enacted PPO, depriving the people of their liberty and conspiracy being hatched against Mosques and Madrissahs would never be acceptable to JUI. He maintained that in all the matters including the PPO and peace talks with TTP, the JUI’s status of coalition partner was not accepted and thus the party was not made privy to all these crucial developments. He further asserted that Sindh Assembly’s resolution to put an end to Islamic Council, a constitutional institution, was sheer contempt and due to this the Sindh Assembly should be dissolved abruptly.
“Women Protection Bill and Pakistan Protection Ordinance is an effort to introduce Western culture in the country and our party will vehemently oppose these malevolent moves,” he observed.
Moulana Gul Naseeb Khan the government was bluffing the Taliban and in the guise of peace talks it was preparing for a grand operation. Thus, he added. The JUI distanced itself for the ‘peace process’ which would ultimately lead to an operation against the Taliban. In response to a question he said that the federal as provincial governments have flatly failed to resolve the problems of the people and after emergence of 18-member forward block in KP, the CM should seek vote of confidence from the Assembly. He was of the opinion that KP government failed on all fronts including maintenance of law and order. He predicted that from the P.K 86 constituency the JUI’s Ali Shah Advocate would win with a great margin in the by-Elections.
Moulana Fazl constituted a Jirga for peace talks with TTP before the presently working committees but then the government brought forward Moulana Sami and Professor Ibrahim on the front with utter neglect to Moulana Fazl.
According to sources this development actually annoyed Moulana Fazl and a sense of dissatisfaction is present among the activists of JUI due to all these issues. The party decided to take difficult steps and thus is going to come out of the coalition from the federal government. It opposed which the JUI leadership calls ‘so-called’ peace talks by withdrawing Mufti Kifayet from the peace committee. Sources inside JUI have said that as Moulana Fazl was in UK by the time and he would meet there with MQM leader Altaf Hussain to give tough time to the federal government by organizing movement against the recent moves of the government. Now it has to be seen where this all goes.
By Abdullah Madni, WEEKLY PULSE MAGAZINE, April 21, 2014