LAHORE - Jamaat-i-Islami has parted ways with the Muttahida Majlise Amal after a year of revival of five religious parties’ alliance.

“We will not conduct any future programme under the banner of the MMA,” said JI chief Sirajul Haq during a press conference at Jamaat’s headquarters Mansoora. He added the religious parties formed the alliance only to participate in the general elections.

Formed in 2002, the MMA was revived in December 2017, six months before the general elections. It was revived almost a decade after its dissolution in 2008. 

A senior leader of the JI said the alliance failed to produce desired results in general elections and there was a growing pressure of the JI workers on top leadership to part ways with the MMA soon after the polls.

The JI could only win one provincial assembly seat from KP in the polls. Party workers feel had the JI not been part of the MMA, it could have secured at least 10 PA seats from KP. Similarly, they link the worst performance of JI in Punjab and Karachi was due to the same factor. Out of 16 MMA seats in National Assembly, 15 belong to JUI-F of Maulana Fazlur Rahman and one to the JI. Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Islami Tehreek and JUP-Imam Noorani are the other three components of the MMA. Their leaders, however, said the MMA was still intact and that they were unaware of the JI’s move.

Siraj was addressing a press conference after conclusion of JI’s three-day JI central executive council (Majlise Shoora) meeting. There are reports that majority of Shoora members also voiced in favour of separation from the MMA.

It was the last session of the Shoora held under Siraj as his five-year tenure as JI chief will expire on March 31. The 80-member Shoora (70 male, 10 female) has also suggested three names for JI’s next ameer (chief ) through a secret balloting process. The names will be opened at JI election commission office which will prepare ballot papers mentioning names of the three Shoora’s favourite candidates. The ballot papers will be sent to over 40,000 workers who will finally choose one name for JI chief among the given three. However, they have right to vote for any other person.

Addressing the press conference, Siraj said if the PTI government did not take any step towards building Pakistan an Islamic state on the pattern of the state of Madina, the masses would not tolerate it for long.

He said the PTI had used the slogan of accountability for political purposes. Had it been serious in this respect, the dust in regard to accountability would have been cleared by now and a mechanism would have been finalised for the recovery of the plundered wealth from the corrupt.

He said the JI Shoora approved the second phase of the JI’s corruption-free drive which will start in mid January. The JI chief said that in spite of financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the economy had not improved and the value of the rupee had fallen considerably. He said people were even worried about the future of CPEC.

He said that the former tribal areas had practically been abandoned after their merger with the KP. He called for a total implementation of the promises made to the tribal people including release of three per cent of the NFC and Rs. 125 billion package. The JI chief also urged the government to give timeframe for local body elections and to announce its strategy in this respect.

The JI chief reaffirmed support to the Kashmiris struggle for liberation and announced to hold week-long ceremonies on eve of Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5.