ISLAMABAD - The extreme positions taken by Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) on Panama leaks and its probe has dampened the chances of the revival of Muttahida Majlis Amal(MMA) which had brightened after the meeting of religious parties leadership in Lahore a couple of months back.

Sources in Jamaat-i-Islami informed that party Amir Senator Sirajul Haq had invited JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to join their country-wide anti-corruption drive but so far they had not received any response from JUI-F leadership.

These sources said that JUI-F leadership have to define its position whether they wanted to become part of the govt or they really wanted change and end to the corruption and corrupt practices of the ruling elite.

The two parties had come closer after a long stalemate in their relations on the issue of a controversial bill passed by the Punjab Assembly on women protection against the domestic violence which was later deferred on strong protest from the religious parties.

During the meeting on the subject the JUI-F leadership raised the issue of once again uniting the religious forces in the country on the pattern of MMA, a conglomeration of religio-political parties formed before the 2002 elections in the country wherein the alliance had emerged as a strong political entity in the country.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed The Nation that JI Amir Senator Sirajul Haq was disappointed by the JUI-F chief’s cold response to his call of joining country-wide anti-corruption drive launched by JI.

These sources said that JI was already divided into two groups one of which was strongly against the revival of MMA or forming an electoral alliance with JUI-F

with some other nomenclature because of the role JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had played in the past.

These voices in the party are getting strength from the position taken by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is extending all out support to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the face of serious allegations levelled against him and his family members for the reasons best known to him.

Sources said that the proponents of revival of MMA in Jamaat-i-Islami were now on back foot as they could hardly defend the wavering stance of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as instead of joining JI in its drive against corruption as he was standing with ruling PML-N for his political interests.

Sources in JI said that the discord between the JI and JUI-F was growing over the Panama leaks which would definitely have negative fallout on any future alliance between the religious parties which had crashed even before takeoff.

The leadership of other religious parties including those which are part of Milli Yakjahti Council were also watching the situation closely but were not in a position to play any role in patching the growing chasm between the two main religio-political parties — Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam - to pave the way for the revival of the religious parties alliance.