Maulana Fazlur Rehman to the press, Courtesy ET
In a dramatic set of events on the very fateful day of 14th December, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) broke away from the federal coalition over the government’s decision to sack the Federal Science and Technology Minister Azam Swati without taking the JUI-F into confidence.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman had some more charges against the federal government. But all the charges before the recent one did not make him part ways with the government.(source)
The Maulana has in the past opposed the PPP government’s decision of military operations against the militant outfits as they have considerably strong influence in various militant outfits of the Deobandi sect. Maulana Fazlur Rehman also offered mediation between the Government and the Taliban, although it seems far-fetched as both parties, Taliban in particular, are skeptical of Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) is a loosely bonded group of various splinter cells of militants. They pose as united for their fierce image, impact and also to attract new recruits. Maulana is not popular among all of them, as leaders of the TTP Swat chapter, Fazlullah and Shah Doran, had shown their disgust for him in their propaganda speeches on the infamous FM radio.
In early 2008, a rocket was fired on Maulana’s residence in DI Khan, and intelligence agencies have reported threats to his life.
Another leader of the JUI, Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani (recently appointed chairman CII), has narrowly escaped at least two attacks by the Taliban.
JUI knows it better. Therefore while they always issued statements against the military operations to appease the conservative voters they never put significant steps in opposing the military operations.
Maulana on various occasions has expressed his displeasure over the government’s ‘evading tactics’ on Islamic laws. It seems strange that an anti-secular party is expecting PPP to make Islamic laws. However, everything is fair in the game of political alliances or smart politics.
JUI strongly protested on the death of Maulana Ameen in an Air Strike by Pakistan armed forces on a Madrassah at Orakzai while they have targeted militant hideouts in the agency. Though it was not an enough reason to break up with the Government to record protest.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman had strong reservations on the recent debate over blasphemy laws by various sections of society, PPP representatives, Governor Punjab and social activists. But he was waiting for the issue to be unfolded, and refrained from overstepping the issue.
Here comes the Hajj Scam (as media has given it the title), the unpleasant exchange of public remarks between two member of the federal cabinet, Azam Swati of JUI(F) and Hamid Saeed Kazmi of PPP, resulting in sacking of both by the Prime Minister.
And Maulana came with a harsh reaction to say good bye to the coalition. The decision is surprising for all, from politicians to media TV anchors. It has fuelled the rumour mills and boosted the morale of the analysts who were tired of issuing forecasts for the fall of the government and renewing the deadlines every time.
Maulana got a relatively sizeable chunk of attractive posts and ministries in the Government compared to his strength in the Parliament; recently the long awaited CII chairmanship demand has been fulfilled.
Then what does the Maulana want?
-Image building exercise after the WikiLeaks
– Evading support of the RGST in the parliament, though it does not seem a big deal
– Getting some more undisclosed demands to be fulfilled as the previous record shows
– Winds of change from the holy land, Tehrik Nizam-e-Mustafa 3.0
– Revival of MMA 2.0
Let us wait and see, or you are free to draw conclusions of your own…