Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Islam

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The Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Islam (JUI) [1] is a Pakistani political party, led by Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman, whose ancestor is the Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Hind (JUH), a Deoband Islamic movement in pre-partition India. The JUH argued that Muslims could coexist with other religions in a society where they were not the majority. [2]

Led by Maulana Shabir Ahmad Usmani, the JUI split from the JUH in 1945, and the JUI became part of Pakistani independence in 1947, with especially strong support in the Northwest Frontier Province and Balochistan Province.

In 1972 it joined the principally Pashtun National Awami Party (NAP) [National Peoples' Party] in those two provinces, with Sardar Ataullah Mengal becoming chief minister of the coalition in Balochistan. The NAP, as opposed to other Pashtun parties, was not separatist. It believed the 1973 constitution gave it rights to form such a coalition. [3] By February 1973, the Mengal government was dismissed by the national government, over allegations of arms smuggling. A few days later, the NWFP government was also dismissed. Chief Minister of the NWFP Mufti Mahmood of the JUI resigned in protest.[4]

The JUI later spawned terrorist movements including Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JM), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ).[5]

In 1977 the JUI contested the National Assembly election as a component of the Pakistan National Alliance. The JUI did not sympathize with General Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization program, and in 1981 the JUI joined the MRD to pressure Zia to hold free elections. The JUI won six seats in the National Assembly in the 1990 elections. In the 1993 national elections, the JUI was the main component of the Islami Jamhoori Mahaz, which won four seats in the National Assembly.

Its next leader, Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman supported Benazir Bhutto during her second term, leading the Pakistan People's Party. This reduced his party's image of an anti-secular religio-political entity. His involvement in some financial scandals, specially the charges levelled against him of supplying permits for exporting diesel from Pakistan to Afghanistan, also threw a blot on the party's reputation. He is regarded by some as an opportunist posing as an Islamic leader. Rehman has also been suggested as involved, with Bhutto and her interior minister, Naseerullah Babar, in the initial rise of the Afghan Taliban. [6]

On September 16, 2008, Rehman, became Chairman of the Special Committee on Kashmir. The Special Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, constituted recently by the National Assembly, has elected unanimously Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman its Chairman. By 2008 the JUI, had substantial support in tribal areas.

His brother, Maulana Attaur Rehman took oath as the Minister for Tourism on Jan 26, 2009. His first act was to cancel the selling of alcohol, an Islamic position. He said that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto previously had stopped it, but General Zia-ul-Haq started these permits perhaps to facilitate foreigners. Atta affirmed that he can not bar purchase or selling of liquor privately but he'll make sure hotels don't provide it. [5]

References

  1. Also transliterated Jamiat-ul Ulema-i-Islam, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam
  2. Peter Blood, ed. (1994), Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Islam, Pakistan: A Country Study, Library of Congress
  3. Michael Edward Brown, Sumit Ganguly (1997), Government policies and ethnic relations in Asia and the Pacific, MIT Press, ISBN 0262522454, p. 93
  4. Brown, p. 104
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Globalsecurity
  6. Gretchen Peters (2009), Seeds of Terror: How Heroin is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda, St. Martin's, ISBN 0312379277, p. 77