KARACHI - Five religious-cum-political parties Tuesday joined hands to revive Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, an alliance of religious parties formed in 2002, and appointed Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman as its president and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Liaquat Baloch as central general secretary.

The parties who joined hands are Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan led by Anas Noorani, Jamiat Ahle Hadith led by Allama Sajid Mir and Islami Tehreek Pakistan led by Arif Hussaini, earlier known as Tehreek-i-Nifaz-e-Fiqh Jafariya (outlawed).

Announcing the decisions of the meeting of the heads and other representatives of the religious parties at a press conference in DHA, MMA Central General Secretary Liaquat Baloch said a convention would be held in Islamabad in the first week of April to announce the party’s manifesto and future strategy.

Speaking on the occasion, the JUI-F chief said all the religious parties in the MMA would contest the upcoming polls from a single platform with one manifesto, constitution, election symbol and flag.

He also said the other parties would also be approached for electoral alliances and seat adjustments. The MMA would strive for the implementation of Islamic system, resolution of national and public issues and safeguard of rights of minorities as well as deprived sections of the societies, he added.

Fazl congratulated the parties on the MMA revival and said its need was being felt on the political landscape since long. “The alliance which achieved important goals after 2002 polls should not have been broken, but now we have initiated our struggle with a new passion and vision,” he said, adding all the parties would have equal representation while decisions would also be taken with consensus.

Fazl said the central body of the party was being constituted and organizational structure would be formed at provincial and district level so that a joint strategy could be developed at grassroots level among the activists of different parties. He stated majority of the population of the country considered the principles on which the country was founded had not been achieved, so there was resentment among the masses over this issue.

“On one hand, there is resentment among the masses while on the other, small groups are being established that are hatching conspiracies against the state,” he said.

To a query, he confirmed the political parties in the MMA would soon part ways with their coalition partners.

To another question regarding distribution of seats among the parties in the MMA, the JUI-F chief said the procedure laid down in the MMA constitution would be implemented.

Speaking on the occasion, JI Amir Siraj-ul-Haq said the state of Madina was their role model and the system of Khilafah was their mission. “We know conspiracies will be hatched against us at national and international level because there are some forces which do not want the religious forces to come forward,” he said and added all peaceful and democratic people should stand by the MMA.

He vowed they would foil every attempt to divide the nation. Other members of the religious parties, including Sajid Mir, Arif Hussaini and others, also spoke on the occasion.