News Analysis |
Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, President of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), has once again criticized his political and ideological rival Imran Khan. While speaking to media during a press conference in Multan, Maulana rejected any possibility of forming an alliance with Imran Khan. He said that “his party will have to recognize Israel as a state before entering into an alliance with Imran Khan.”
He also said that if Imran Khan becomes the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, it will not be in the best interest of Pakistan – “If Imran Khan is elected as the Prime Minister, it will be unfortunate for the country,” Rehman said.
Being the President of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Maulana also stated that “MMA’s upcoming rally, which is scheduled to take place at Minar-e-Pakistan on May 13, will alter the country’s political history”. “This is not the first time MMA has formed an electoral alliance, we have tasted success in the past from the same platform,” he further said.
Pakistan is a transitional democracy which needs time and deliberation to get evolved and become a stable, mature democracy. With this in mind using such abhorrent tactics against one’s opponent, in a religiously conservative society like Pakistan, is very dangerous.
Formation of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal
The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) — an alliance of religio-political parties, which first emerged in the history of Pakistan during 2002 elections, has once again been revived. Maulana has been made its Chairman. The head of Jamaat-e-Islami, Siraj-ul-Haq has also welcomed the MMA and thanked Allah for its restoration. “We are thankful to Allah for this. The restoration of MMA for the protection of the Islamic identity of the country, its safety, and security is welcome news for democratic stability. Running the country according to the constitution and Islamic principles is necessary,” said Sirajul Haq.
MMA, like other political parties and interests groups, is using an identity card to seek political support in the upcoming general elections. According to the party, the biggest threat to religious political parties in their respective areas is the presence of PTI. The best strategy devised by the leaders of the religious parties has been to get organized, make an alliance and defeat the PTI. However invoking identities and ensuring political support is not something that ensures the growth and development of a democratic culture. Scholars argue that democracy grows in a ‘participant culture’ where people are rational actors and an integral part of the political process.
Political Fatwa of Maulana Fazul against the PTI
In May 2013, Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared it ‘haram’ to vote in favor of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s 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 the Prime Minister of Pakistan and making the country an Islamic welfare state.”
It was interesting to note that when Maulana was asked to identify the reasoning behind the idea that Imran was really an American or Jewish agent, he 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.”
The restoration of MMA for the protection of the Islamic identity of the country, its safety, and security is welcome news for democratic stability. Running the country according to the constitution and Islamic principles is necessary,” said Sirajul Haq.
Pakistan is a transitional democracy which needs time and deliberation to get evolved and become a stable, mature democracy. With this in mind using such abhorrent tactics against one’s opponent, in a religiously conservative society like Pakistan, is very dangerous. Leaving votes aside, what if someone attached or killed PTI candidates on the assumption that they are sponsored by American or Jewish lobby? Who would have been responsible for that tragedy? Maulana?
Maulana’s current remarks about Imran Khan and the formation of MMA reflects former’s obsession with the latter’s political popularity. The misuse of religion to gain the electoral win and branding your opponents as unfaithful is something which will prove counterproductive for Pakistan in the long run.