MMA yet to name office-bearers despite revival

ISLAMABAD - Despite the announcement of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal(MMA) revival a month ago, the component parties of the alliance have yet to formally announce names of office-bearers and to bring all of them on the same page on some contentious issues.

At the time of the revival of MMA, the component parties had also agreed to dole out the chairmanship of the alliance to Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl while a steering committee with a representation of all the component parties was constituted to work out the nitty-gritty of the alliance as well as finalize the names of the office-bearers.

Sources aware of the development told The Nation that though the leadership of the MMA component parties was downplaying the differences on some contentious matters, some of the issues were quite serious like the conflicting stance of the Jamaat-i-Islami and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl on the Fata reforms issue.

The sources said that the matter was deliberately deferred and most probably the alliance would be complete regarding the office-bearers soon after the Senate elections scheduled for March 3.

JI Naib Amir Liaquat Baloch said that the steering committee was working on devising the manifesto of the alliance and completing other formalities including finalization of names for various offices of the alliance.

Baloch said that the component parties were not bound to support each other in the upcoming Senate elections and the parties having stakes in these elections would make arrangements with other parliamentary parties considering their own stake.

Baloch, who is also a member of the steering committee, said that it was gracious on part of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman that he agreed to resolve the Fata reforms issue through negotiations and the matter was referred to the steering committee.

He said that the parties have to make sacrifices for a big cause and he sounded quite optimistic to convince the JUI-F about their viewpoint on the Fata reforms issue.

Sources said that as some component parties have stakes in the upcoming Senate elections so the matter of quitting the governments would cost them seats in the Upper House elections.  It had been decided that the formal announcement of the alliance would be made soon after Senate elections and the parties which are part of any government or holding positions in federal and provincial governments would also dissociate themselves from these positions.

The MMA, which was formed ahead of the 2002 general election, performed remarkably in the polls. The alliance also formed a government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the then NWFP, single-handedly and a coalition government in Balochistan with the PML-Q besides securing the position of the leader of opposition in the National Assembly.

Previously, the MMA  comprised of six religious parties — the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam- Fazl, the Jamaat-i-Islami, the Tehreek-i-Jafaria Pakistan, the Jamaat-i-Ahle Hadith and the Muttahida Deeni Mahaz.

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