MMA supreme council meeting delayed
LAHORE: The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) supreme council meeting, which was expected on February 28, has been delayed again because of internal differences.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) has been suffering from an internal crisis since Maulana Ahmad Noorani’s death and the party has failed to choose a new leader. MMA Senior Vice President Maulana Samiul Haq has boycotted the supreme council meeting until the major complaints are resolved.
Qazi Hussain Ahmad is working as the acting president of the JUP, something that is creating differences. Mr Haq claims he deserved the slot of senior vice president while the JUP claims that the next president, like Mr Noorani, should be from their party.
MMA Deputy Secretary General Liaqat Baloch has said that this is not a major dispute but is causing delays because the JUP has still not chosen a new president. He has said that to elect a new alliance head, all party heads must approve of the choice.
The JUP has called a Shurra meeting for March 14 to resolve their internal differences and to choose a new president, party sources told Daily Times. They said four people are angling for the president position: Pir Ejaz Hashmi, General (r) KM Azhar, Allama Sha Fareedul Haq and Maulana Anis Noorani. According to the sources, all four candidates have strong supporters in the party and this is why the JUP leadership has been unable to agree on a name. However, Mr Hashmi has said he is no longer a candidate for the slot and expressed hope that a new president would be elected at the March 14 meeting.
Another differences causing delays for the alliance is that Markazi Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadiath is not happy with the MMA leadership’s decision on the Legal Framework Order. Tehrik-e-Islami Pakistan (TIP) also complains that the MMA’s leadership is not seriously tackling the issue of Allama Sajid Naqvi’s arrest.
However, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) is actively trying to resolve the differences. Mr Baloch called a Naqvi release committee meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday to put pressure on the government and to satisfy the TIP. Sources inside the alliance of six religious parties told Daily Times that Mr Baloch had met with Mr Haq and had assured him that the MMA leadership was taking his complaints seriously and that his participation in the supreme council meeting was necessary to resolve the problems. According to the sources, Mr Haq’s response was not encouraging. Sources said he told Mr Baloch that he would decide what to do after taking his party’s Shurra members into confidence. Mr Baloch also visited MMA General Secretary Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is ill and admitted to a hospital in Islamabad, to discuss the party’s situation. Sources said they agreed that the supreme council would be called after Ashura. They also agreed a meeting with the MMA’s party heads was necessary before the supreme council meeting. Meanwhile, MMA Punjab President Hafiz Muhammad Idrees has called the alliance’s provincial body meeting for February 27 in Lahore. According to TIP acting President Allama Jallial Naqvi, the meeting will pass a resolution to press the central leadership to call a supreme council meeting soon because the delays are damaging the MMA’s public image. —Amir Rana