PESHAWAR - Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami leader Maulana Yousaf Shah expressed optimism about the reunification of religious parties and revival of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal.

The Maulana said while addressing a press conference on Wednesday that talks were underway for the purpose.

During the press conference, JUI-Fazl leader from Landi Kotal tehsil of Khyber Agency Maulana Ateeq announced joining the JUI-S. Maulana Yousaf further said that efforts had been initiated to revive the MMA, but certain religious parties were showing their reservations regarding the reunification and reactivation of the alliance. In this regard, he added, a meeting was held to address their concerns.

“The revival of MMA is a matter of unity, which is needed to be held thorough deliberations, Yousaf said, adding that the alliance would not be revived without consensus on mutual objectives. He also viewed that if decisions were taken against the objectives and for personal gains, the alliance would not survive for longer period as happened in the past.

Flanked by former MNA and JUI-S Deputy Secretary General Shah Abdul Aziz, Maulana Haqqani, and Mufti Zafar Zaman, Shah said that his party had always tried to get together all religious parties on a single platform to jointly work for common objectives. But, the previous alliance was disintegrated due to working against the objectives, he said. The JUI-S would insist on objectives instead of giving preference to personal interests, he vowed.

The JUI-S leader also strongly supported the long-standing demand of the tribal people regarding the merger of Fata with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He said that the integration of tribal region with KP was need of the hour to ensure basic rights of the tribal people.

The JUI-S leader opposed the proposed registration of religious seminaries with respective education boards. He said that they would not accept interference in religious seminaries and its curriculum, and asked the federal and provincial governments to take Wafaq-ul-Madaris and leaders of religious seminaries on board before taking any such decision.

Earlier, Maualna Ateeq said that the JUI-F ideology and thoughts were against the interest of tribal people and it had failed to work sincerely for the cause of the people of Fata. Therefore, “I decided to join the JUI-S”, he said. He claimed that a large number of imminent Ulemas and tribal people would soon join the JUI-S from Khyber Agency.

Shah while announcing the names of new entrants in the party said that the JUI-S would further be strengthened in tribal region. He said that the party would intensify campaign for the rights of tribal people in coming days.

On the occasion, he announced schedule for holding programme and rallies in Fata from November 5 in Wana South Waziristan Agency. He also said that a grand tribal convention would be held in Peshawar on November 18.