LAHORE - Over 50 religio-political parties have come into action for the release of Hafiz Saeed and others with a strong possibility of formation of an alliance for the next general elections, The Nation has learnt.

Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-S and Jamiat Ulema-e-Paksiatn are already united under the banner of Milli Yakjehti Council and Difa-e-Pakistan Council, but they are not electoral alliances. Hafiz Saeed’s party is an active member of the duo representing all four Islamic schools of thought—Brelvi, Deobandi, Ahle Hadith and Shia.

The MYC’s central leadership is going to meet today in Lahore while and DPC has called its meeting on Thursday in Islamabad to discuss house arrest of JuD’s leaders and form a future strategy on different issues. An announcement is likely to start a countrywide united campaign for the release of Hafiz Saeed after the meetings. The JuD is actively backing the move.

“Suggestions have already come from religious scholars to form an alliance for the next election likely to be held in the end of 2017 or during early months of 2018. It is a good opportunity for us to become united as a large number of people are disturbed on the government’s action against religious segment of the society,” a leader of a religious party told The Nation.  JuD spokesmann Yahya Mujahid said although Dawa itself would not participate in any voting process in Pakistan, it could announce the support of any likeminded alliance or party in the next election. The JuD claims it enjoys support of two million organised workers from Karachi to Gilgit besides having thousands of ideological supporters in every part of the country.  Sahibzada Abulkhair Zubair, a Brelvi scholar and head of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan-Noorani, is heading MYC while Maulana Samiul Haq who proudly calls himself father of Taliban is the chairman of DPC.

Formed in 1995 to “reduce the sectarian tension”, MYC is umbrella organisation of some 20 small and large parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Tehreek of Shia scholar Allama Sajid Naqvi. JI’s late chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed also headed the alliance in 2012.

Around 35 religio-political parties and some individual prominent personalities formed DPC in 2011 against “US threat to Pakistan after conquering Afghanistan.” Former spymaster late Gen (r) Hameed Gul, Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Sami were the main persons behind the formation of DPC. Other small and large groups like Jamhoori Watan Party, a nationalist political party of Balochistan headed by late Nawab Akbar Bugti’s grandson Shahzain Bugti, some Christian, Hindu and Sikh organisations and Ahle Sunnat-wal-Jamaat (former banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan) are also the members of DPC. Interestingly, no Shia party is the part of the council due to inclusion of Maulana Ahmad Ludhiyanvi, head of Ahle Sunnat-wal-Jamaat, in it.