Maulana Fazlur Rehman waves to his party workers at a rally. File photo
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
By chucking four dissidents from the party, the Jamiat Ulemae Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has followed in the footsteps of other political forces, which have been resorting to such extreme actions to quell rebellion.
All the dissenters driven out of the JUI-F have been its senior leaders for decades. Some of them have been quite uneasy over Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s policies since long but they have been deliberately silent for their own reasons.
However, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, has been lampooning his leader over the past few weeks. But Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani, Maulana Gul Naseeb and Maulana Shujul Mulk broke their silence by issuing attacking statements against the JUI-F chief over the past one week. It appeared they were in unison.
The JUI-F’s decision has different noteworthy aspects. One is its timing. When the anti-government campaign launched by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) that Fazlur Rehman heads is entering a decisive phase, it became intolerable for Fazlur Rehman to further brook the harangue by a set of his own party leaders.
Maryam Nawaz speaks to the media.File photo
He did not want to get his attention distracted from his mission, and open challenge to his leadership to take its toll. The disgruntled elements’ move has boomeranged for now.
The second aspect is that the aggressive voices that challenged his decisions gave a clear impression that the JUI-F’s own house is not in order, a fact which will have a negative impact on its future effective participation in the extreme PDM moves like the long march. It is no secret that the PDM components specifically the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is greatly banking on the JUI-F’s street power for the success of its movement.
The third feature was the assumption of the JUI-F that the rebels’ crusade was sponsored by the elements opposed to PDM’s belligerent plans. Fazlur Rehman has not minced words in publicly blaming those he believes are responsible for the rebels’ line. He seemingly feared that if they were further endured in the party, they may hurt it when he is engaged in a do or die fight.
He apprehended that any harm done by their campaign was going to impinge hard on his position in the PDM. He did not want to take any chances by allowing them to be in the party fold any more. The tirade of the group of four was focused on him. By throwing them out, he tried to quickly crush the dissent, signaling a message to all and sundry that he can’t be bent by such machinations.
The fourth aspect is that the JUI-F faces an imminent split as the penalized leaders have vowed to carve their own party out of it. After the death of Fazlur Rehman’s father, Mufti Mahmood, Maulana Samiul Haq had, during the tenure of General Ziaul Haq, established another JUI-Sami. But it always remained a highly miniature party, which never had any impressive electoral achievement to its credit. History is being repeated once again in the JUI-F’s case.
Although a proper internal procedure delineated by the JUI-F was followed to proceed against the four leaders as their ejection was decided by its disciplinary committee, the judgment clearly reflected the rage that Fazlur Rehman had against them and anybody supporting the present dispensation. Even otherwise, it is in the public domain that he has been tremendously furious over the outcome of the 2018 general elections, has been agitating and is desperate to knock down the present structure.
Asif Zardari arrives for a hearing in the court. File photo
Most thrilled has been the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) over the onslaught of the four rebellious stalwarts and embarrassment caused to the JUI-F chief, and naturally it has to be in such a state of euphoria over such development. Taking a cue from the expelled leaders’ hostility towards him, it has constantly denounced him, which is obviously because of his hard-line in the PDM and his awesome street power.
However, the PTI did not put up with the disapproval done by Akbar S Babar, Uzma Kardar and retired Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed, who were shown the door from the party one by one on different occasions. They were charged with violation of the party discipline and were dismissed for having voiced criticism against the PTI chairman. The lady had to resign as the party’s member of the Punjab Assembly (MPA).
Before the JUI-F’s instant action, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had also acted in the same fashion, when it had ousted its five MPAs for meeting Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and speaking against its supremo Nawaz Sharif’s hard-hitting narrative. Like Fazlur Rehman, it also reached the conclusion that not punishing them right now would hurt the party when it is preoccupied with a protest campaign being part of the PDM. The reason for the stern actions by the JUI-F and PML-N is almost the same.Among the political forces, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has been relatively tolerant. Asif Zardari has always been hesitant to ditch those openly disagreeing with him or even going against his decisions.
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