New alliance with no political ambitions emerges

Qazi Hussain Ahmed

LAHORE: A broad-based non-political alliance of religio-political parties is expected to be launched on Monday (tomorrow) when former Jamaat-i-Islami amir Qazi Hussain Ahmed, duly mandated by his party, hosts a conference at a five-star hotel in Islamabad.

Leaders of parties representing all religious schools of thought will be among the participants.The new coalition will try to settle differences among religious parties with a view to uniting them at a time when the country faces a number of threats from the powers occupying Afghanistan for the last one decade. At a later stage, the forum will also try to remove all hurdles in unity among the Islamic countries.The leadership understands that it is going to be a daunting task, but they are determined to achieve the target at any cost. Settlement of Shia-Sunni differences will be on top of the agenda, and the participants will devise a strategy for the purpose.To ensure that the proceedings of the day-long conference go on smoothly, the organisers have decided to invite Sipahe Sahaba Pakistan (a Sunni organisation) and Millat-i-Jafaria (representing Shias) in separate sessions.

In Monday’s session, the Shia leaders will be there, but the SSP representatives will be invited to some other session.A committee is expected to be formed to find commonalities between Shias and Sunnis and persuade them to work together. The proposed alliance will also carry out a number of other tasks.For example, for the first time in the country’s history, an attempt would be made that sermons to be delivered in Juma prayers from all mosques are on the same subject.To make it possible, a committee is likely to be constituted by the conference participants. The recommendations made by the Council of Islamic Ideology on a variety of subjects remain unimplemented.

The proposed alliance would also consider a methodology to force the government to enact legislation in the light of those recommendations.Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that the new alliance would ‘not’ be an election alliance and it would work only on a non-political agenda.  He said the new alliance would not oppose efforts to revive the Muttahida Majlis-i-Aml (MMA). This alliance remained active for several years, but went into the background after the 2008 elections, mainly on account of differences between the JUI-F and the Jamaat-i-Islami leaders.The former JI Amir said the new alliance would have no differences with the Defence of Pakistan Council, a conglomerate opposed to the government’s plans to restore the NATO supplies to Afghanistan.

Answering a question, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said the new body would have an organisational structure and a general council would run it.Those who will participate in Monday’s session include: Maulana Fazlur Rahman (JUI-F), Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (Jamaatud Dawa), Allama Sajid Ali Naqvi (Millat-i-Jafria), Maulana Samiul Haq (JUI-S), Syed Munawar Hasan (Jamaat-i-Islami), Awais Noorani and Sahibzada Abul Khair (JUP), Alama Muhammad Amin Shaheedi (Wahdat-e-Muslimeen), Sahibzada Fazal Karim (Sunni Council), Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali (Tanzimul Arifeen), Hafiz Akif Saeed (Tanzim-i-Islami), Qari Hanif Jallundri (Wifaqul Madaris), Pir Haroon Gilani (Tehrik-i-Faizan Aulia), Mufti Muneebur Rahman (Chairman Ruet-i-Hilal Committee),  Maulana Abdul Malik (Ittehadul Ulema), Allama Ibtesam Elahi Zaheer (Jamiat Ahle-Hadith) and Professor Sajid Mir (Markazi Ahle Hadith). – Nation