The religio-political party, Jamiat Ulema Islam – Fazl-ur-Rehman (JUI-F), is well known for its tendency to join the ruling party of the day, and then quitting. Previously, the party left the PPP federal government over the Haj scam controversy, and now it has decided to part ways with the PML-N government over differences on “policy issues”. Its two ministers, who were still without portfolios months after joining the government, have submitted resignations.

Considering the party’s outrageous response following the release of the National Internal Security Policy (NISP) document which highlighted the link between terrorism and religious seminaries, its insistence on being accepted as the central player in talks with the TTP and Mr Fazl-ur-Rehman’s unimpressive record suggest that perhaps, this isn’t such a bad thing for the PML-N. The country is faced with an existential crisis, and tough decisions need to be made to rescue it from the jaws of complete disintegration. Mr Fazl-ur-Rehman aptly symbolises the resistance against those necessary decisions. His opposition against madrassa reforms, rights of women and modernity in general may serve his political interests due to the backwardness of his constituents, but it surely doesn’t serve the country. To really understand the party’s ideology, it is enough to know that Maulana Sherani – the serving Chairman of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) – is a JUI-F member who took charge when the party joined the PPP’s previous government. Furthermore, the fact that the JUI-F has remained completely detached from the ‘peace talks’ despite its long-standing position in support of negotiations, also reveals the selfish nature of its politics. Its attempts to secure PML-N’s support to undermine PTI’s mandate given by the voters of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa again shows the dearth of democratic values within the party. No solution is acceptable to the party that doesn’t come through it nor is it willing to let go of its self-centered agenda for the sake of the country. Why would anyone seek such a partner?