PESHAWAR: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq announced on Wednesday that his party would form an alliance with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in next year’s general elections rather than joining the religious parties’ platform of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).
Talking to the media after presiding over his party’s Majlis-e-Shura meeting held at Parda Bagh, he said the highest decision-making body of JUI-S had approved the alliance with PTI and rejected the option to join MMA.
While discussing both options, the council’s members said the JUI-S had ideological harmony with PTI and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s current political atmosphere was also favourable for the party ruling the province. They suggested that rather than going for the yet to be revived MMA, the party should opt for an alliance with PTI.
Announcing the Shura’s decision, Maulana Haq, however, said his party was in contact with religious parties outside MMA. “The party Shura has given approval for making alliance with PTI,” he said, adding that matters relating to the elections had yet to be finalised.
He criticised JUI-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, accusing him of taking decisions unilaterally. “MMA was not working for Islamisation and when we opposed its policies, they expelled us from the alliance,” he said, adding that he could not repeat the same mistake. “Maulana Fazlur Rehman is like a king. Whenever he likes, he includes or ousts you from the alliance.”
The JUI-S chief said an alliance of religious parties was needed in the present circumstances, particularly for defending the ideological boundaries of the country.
Although the modalities of the electoral alliance are yet to be decided by the two parties, the development can be called a blow to MMA, particularly JUI-F, which is struggling to compete with PTI in the province.
PTI already has an alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and its leaders, including Chairman Imran Khan and K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, have been visiting Haq’s Darul Uloom Khaqania in Akora Khattak. The provincial government also reportedly allocated funds for the seminary.
Tehreek-e-Insaf’s inclination towards JUI-S is a clear attempt to thwart JUI-F’s efforts for reviving MMA, which earlier ruled the province for five years.