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Pak Islamic parties fail to agree on alliance revival

Last Updated: Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 21:44

Islamabad: Pakistan`s main Islamic
parties met on Thursday to discuss the revival of a defunct alliance
that had made them a potent force after the 2002 general
election, but were unable to reach an understanding.

The leaders of the parties, including the Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), failed to agree on the revival of the
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) alliance but said they had made
progress and an announcement was likely to be made at their
next meeting.

No date was set for the next meeting.
The alliance of six mainstream Islamic parties, which
was the ruling party in the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
province until the elections of 2008, broke up on the question
of taking part in parliamentary polls under the then president
Pervez Musharraf.

Allama Sajid Ali Naqvi, chief of the Shia group Islami
Tehrik, who hosted today`s meeting, said that the leaders had
agreed on the revival of the MMA, but a formal announcement
will be made in the next meeting.

"Central councils of all parties will now take final
decisions about the revival of the MMA," Naqvi told a news
conference after the meeting.

The failure to announce a date for the next meeting
indicated that the leaders still have differences.

The leaders have already held three meetings but have
not succeeded in reviving the alliance as the Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam is a partner in the ruling coalition led by the
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

This is considered the main hurdle in the revival of
the alliance.

Leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami want the JUI to quit
the government but it seems unwilling to do so.

In today’s meeting, five parties asked the JUI to part
ways with the government and party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman
said he would make a decision by July 25.

Analysts say the MMA could win support if it is
revived in view of the growing American intervention in
Pakistan`s internal affairs.

Naqvi condemned terrorist attacks across Pakistan and
regretted that the government is not identifying the arrested
terrorists and their masterminds.

Fazlur Rehman condemned US intervention in Pakistan`s
affairs and referred to the presence of US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton on the occasion of the signing of a record
note on a proposed Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade

The leaders of the Islamic parties believe they are
better placed to benefit from anti-US feelings sweeping the
country due to the inability of other parties to take a clear
stand against the US and condemn its policies towards Pakistan
and other Muslim countries.


First Published: Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 21:44

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