In an interesting development, the Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) leadership has refused to join the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) the anti-government long march. Maulana Fazlur Rehman and his aides were expecting the PPP to be part of the Azadi March. However, the PPP leadership has refused to join any movement aiming topple the government.
On the other hand, JUI-F is certain to use the religion card to put pressure on the government and force it to resign. JUI-F chief has been making all possible efforts to force the government to step down since its election to power back in 2018.
The relationship between JUI-F) and PPP has started to turn sour after the latter refused to join the anti-government long march with leaders from both the parties now accusing each other of playing politics on the matter. https://t.co/5ud71zUobb
— Murtaza Solangi (@murtazasolangi) September 23, 2019
Initially, Maulana was not ready to accept the electoral results in which his party was whitewashed at the hand of PTI. “Parties have not accepted the result of the polls. There is still time for the election commission to accept its failure and the chief election commissioner to tender his resignation,” said Rehman.
It is important to mention here that Maulana presided over a meeting of multi-conference after the ‘unprecedented’ electoral win of the PTI. But soon after the meeting, the PPP decided not to reject the elections and formed government in Sindh. Similarly, the PML-N made all efforts to form its government in Punjab, but of no use. The MQM-P, PML-Q and other parties from Baluchistan and GDA became the part of the ruling alliance.
This is not for the first time that Maulana is using religious card against PTI. In May 2013 Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared it ‘haram’ to vote in favor of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and his candidates.
Moreover, during recent all opposition parties the JUI-F suggested to use religious card against PM Imran Khan which the PPP chairman explicitly declined to agree with. The PPP chairman was quoted by media saying his party will not use religion to target political rivals.
During the Quetta rally, Maulana said while vowing to confront the PTI government’s flawed policies: “We have a clear version on blasphemy law and Khatam-i-Nabuwwat and will not allow the federal government to even touch the blasphemy law.”
PPP has Double Standards
Furthermore, JUI-F’s information secretary Hafiz Hussain Ahmed has openly criticized the PPP over its stance on the long march issue. “The PPP has adopted double standards. On the one hand, it considers our long march unconstitutional and illegal and on the other, it is extending moral and political support to our protest,” he said.
“The problem with the PPP is that those who are in jail want to come out and those who are out of jail do not want to go to jails,” Mr Ahmed said.
The Pakistan Bar Council has offered to give free legal aid to the JUI-F against any 'unconstitutional' or 'illegal' step taken by the government during its anti-government long march in Islamabadhttps://t.co/Vim4j5efGc
— Samaa English (@SamaaEnglish) September 12, 2019
When asked about the PPP’s allegation that the JUI-F leadership was using “religion card” during the planned anti-government protest, Mr Ahmed said the JUI-F had never criticised the PPP for always using the “Sindh card” in politics.
“Did Quaid-i-Azam not use the religion card during the freedom movement? Is making a demand that the Constitution be implemented in letter and spirit unconstitutional?” he asked.
Sources said the JUI-F leadership was unhappy over certain remarks made by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari about their planned long march. The sources said the JUI-F leaders had taken a serious note of Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s remarks during his last week’s news conference that he was not participating in the JUI-F’s protest sit-in as he did not want to become a ‘Moulvi’.
Read more: Can PPP pull off long march alone?
Speaking at a news conference after presiding over a meeting of the party’s core committee in Islamabad on Sept 19, Mr Bhutto-Zardari had ruled out the possibility of joining the long march.
“I do not want to do politics of dharna. I want to do politics of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. Why do you want me to become a moulvi,” the PPP chairman had stated in response to a question as to why the party was running away from the anti-government protest of JUI-F.
Political Fatwa of Maulana Fazul against the PTI
This is not for the first time that Maulana is using religious card against PTI. In May 2013 Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared it ‘haram’ to vote in favor of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and his candidates. He alleged Imran Khan for being sponsored by the West and the Jewish lobby. He also called Imran an agent of “Americans, Jews, Ahmadis and a person of ill character”.
Maulana further attacked Imran’s family and said that “a person who could not make his own children Muslim nor Pakistani, is dreaming of becoming prime minister of Pakistan and making the country an Islamic welfare state.”
It was interesting to note that when Maulana had to tell as to who said Imran was really an American or Jewish agent. Maulana confidently asserted that “I am asked, ‘what is the proof that he (Imran Khan) is an agent of the Jews,’ I say there is only one proof and it is my own responsible personality. I am so righteous that I would never talk ill against anyone. This is enough that Maulana Fazlur Rehman says that he is a Jewish agent.”