Fazal-ur-Rehman (politician)

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Fazal-ur-Rehman

Maulana
Fazl-ur-Rehman (30287690872) (cropped).jpg
President of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal
Assumed office
20 March 2018
President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F)
Assumed office
1988
Leader of the Opposition (Pakistan)
In office
25 March 2004 – 15 November 2007
PresidentPervez Musharraf
Prime MinisterShaukat Aziz
Preceded byBenazir Bhutto
Succeeded byChaudhry Pervaiz Elahi
Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
In office
1 June 2013 – 31 May 2018
In office
18 November 2002 – 18 November 2007
ConstituencyNA-24 (D.I. Khan)
In office
17 March 2008 – 31 May 2013
ConstituencyNA-26 (Bannu)
In office
16 October 1993 – 5 November 1996
In office
2 December 1988 – 6 August 1990
ConstituencyD.I. Khan
Personal details
Born (1953-06-19) 19 June 1953 (age 66)
Dera Ismail Khan, NWFP, Pakistan
NationalityPakistani
Political partyJamiat Ulama-e-Islam
Other political
affiliations
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) (2002–2008)
ChildrenAsad Mehmood (son)[1]
FatherMufti Mahmud
RelativesMaulana Lutf ur Rehman (brother)
Atta-ur-Rehman (brother)

Fazal-ur-Rehman is a hard-line, right-wing Pakistani politician and current president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) (JUI-F) and Assembly of Islamic Scholars. Rehman was a member of the National Assembly between 1988 and May 2018 and previously served as Leader of the Opposition from 2004 to 2007.

Rehman is considered a pro-Taliban politician, known for his close ties to Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.[2][3][4] He has attempted to re-brand himself as a moderate without connections to religious extremists and hardliners.[2] In the past, he has called for imposition of Sharia in Pakistan, but later formed alliances with secular political parties.[5][6]

Early life[edit]

Rehman was born on 19 June 1953[7] (1 September according to another report) to a religious and political family in Dera Ismail Khan (D.I. Khan).[8][9] He attained a Bachelor's degree in Islamiat in 1983 and completed his Master's degree at Al-Azhar University Cairo.[10]

His father, Mufti Mahmud was an Islamic scholar and politician who served as the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 1972 to 1973.[3] He and his family are part of the Deobandi movement.[11]

Political career[edit]

Rehman begun his political career as the secretary general of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam in 1980 at the age of 27. This was after the death of his father Mufti Mahmud who was the leader of the party before his death.[3][5]

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam later split into two factions in the mid 1980s with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), the main faction led by Fazal.[3][5][2]

Rehman was elected as the member of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1988 Pakistani general elections for the first time on from D.I. Khan seat.[5][3] He then made connections with Afghan Taliban.[5]

Rehman ran for the seat of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1990 Pakistani general elections for the second time on from D.I. Khan seat but did not win the election.[5]

Rehman was elected as the member of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1993 Pakistani general elections for the second time on Islamic Jamhoori Mahaz ticket from D.I. Khan seat.[5] Fazal was appointed as the chairman of the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs in National Assembly of Pakistan.[3][5]

Rehman ran for the seat of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1997 Pakistani general elections for the fourth time but did not win the election.[5]

Rehman led several anti-American protests and pro-Taliban rallies in the major cities of Pakistan following the war in Afghanistan in 2001. He criticised President of United States George W. Bush, and threatened to launch jihad against the United States if the bombings continued. He also criticised and warned President of the Pakistan Pervez Musharraf that he would be overthrown if he continued to support the “War on Terror”.[5][3] In October 2001, Pervez Musharraf placed Fazal under house arrest in his native village Abdul Khel[12] for inciting the citizens of Pakistan against the armed forces of Pakistan and for trying to overthrow the government of Pakistan. Later in March 2002, Fazal was set free and the cases against him were withdrawn.[3][5]

Rehman was elected as the member of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 2002 Pakistani general elections for the third time on Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal ticket.[5] He won on two seats, NA-24 and NA-25, the later was vacated.

Upon winning the election, Fazal became a potential candidate for the post of prime minister of Pakistan but was not appointed.[5][3]

He served as the leader of the opposition from 2004 to 2007.[13]

In 2007, Rehman invited then US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, to a dinner in which he sought her support in becoming Prime Minister of Pakistan and expressed a desire to visit America.[4]

Rehman ran for the seat of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 2008 Pakistani general elections for the sixth time on Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal ticket from two constituencies, NA-24, D.I. Khan which is his traditional constituency and NA-26, Bannu[14] In September 2008, he was elected chairman of the Kashmir committee of the National Assembly of Pakistan.[15]

Rehman was elected as the member of the National Assembly of Pakistan for the fourth time on Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal ticket from Bannu constituency,[5] but he lost the election in D.I. Khan constituency.[5] By 2008, Fazal distanced himself from Taliban and called himself a moderate.[5]

In May 2014, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave him the status of a federal minister for being the chairman of special committee of the National Assembly on Kashmir.[16] In August 2017, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi gave him the same status again.[16] Upon the dissolution of the National Assembly on the expiration of its term on 31 May 2018, he ceased to hold the status of a federal minister.[17]

In March 2018, he became head of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal[18] which was revived in December 2017.[19]

Rehman ran for the seat of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 2018 Pakistani general elections from Dera Ismail Khan's constituencies, NA38 and NA 39 but did not win.[20]

On 27 August 2018, several opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League (N), nominated him as a candidate in the 2018 presidential election.[21] On 4 September 2018, he clinched 184 electoral votes behind Arif Alvi (352) and ahead of Aitzaz Ahsan (124) in the election.[22]

Opposition to PTI[edit]

On numerous occasions, Rehman has displayed severe opposition to Imran Khan and his political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). In 2013 Rehman declared voting for the PTI as haram (religiously prohibited), asserting Khan to be supported by the West and the Jewish lobby and explicitly calling him an agent of "Americans, Jews, Ahmadis and a person of ill character".[23][24]

Azadi March[edit]

In late 2019 Rehman led a march towards Islamabad with the intent to sit-in, until PM Imran Khan resigned from office.[25] At least tens of thousands[26] to possibly millions[citation needed] of opposition party members demonstrated against the Khan government. The Azadi March which translates as "Freedom March" started from Sukkur on October 27, 2019 and travelled Sindh and Punjab;[citation needed] other political parties also joined the march which reached Islamabad on October 31, 2019. Rehman also addressed the participants at different points on the journey.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hussain, Javed (7 August 2018). "MMA announces name of Fazl's son as nominee for NA deputy speaker post". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "PARTY PROFILES: The party's on -DAWN – Herald Election 2008;". Dawn. 7 September 2008. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Profile: Maulana Fazlur Rahman". BBC. 6 November 2002. Archived from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b Walsh, Declan (30 November 2010). "Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari 'Prepared for Assassination' – WikiLeaks Cables Profiling Husband of Late Benazir Bhutto Say He Has Named His Successor Should He Also Be Killed". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 17 September 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Maulana Fazlur Rehman". DAWN.COM. 5 April 2013. Archived from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  6. ^ "JUI to strive for Sharia through ballot, says Fazl". DAWN.COM. 23 September 2012. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  7. ^ "If elections are held on time…". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  8. ^ Guidère, Mathieu (2012). Historical Dictionary of Islamic Fundamentalism. Scarecrow Press. p. 365. ISBN 9780810879652. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Detail Information". 23 March 2011. Archived from the original on 23 March 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "(in urdu)فضل الرحمٰن".
  11. ^ Ehtasham Khan (18 July 2003). "Why did the Pak Maulana visit Deoband?". Rediff. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Maulana Fazl, Samiul Haq under house arrest". DAWN.COM. 8 October 2001. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  13. ^ Trivedi, Dinesh (3 June 2007). "India, Pak MPs clash over draft declaration on Kashmir". Outlook India. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  14. ^ "32 titanic clashes on the cards". DAWN.COM. 18 February 2008. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Fazl elected chairman of NA's Kashmir committee". DAWN.COM. 17 September 2008. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  16. ^ a b Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (27 August 2017). "Status of federal minister conferred on Fazl". DAWN.COM. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  17. ^ "Notification" (PDF). Cabinet division. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 June 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  18. ^ Ghori, Habib Khan (21 March 2018). "Maulana Fazl to head recently revived MMA". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  19. ^ Ghori, Habib Khan (14 December 2017). "Five religious parties join forces to revive MMA". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  20. ^ https://www.tribune.com.pk/story/1767521/1-no-country-old-faces-pakistan-votes-established-politicians/
  21. ^ "Opposition, sans PPP nominate Fazl as presidential candidate". The News. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  22. ^ Chaudhry, Fahad (5 September 2018). "PTI's Arif Alvi officially declared winner of 13th presidential election". Dawn.
  23. ^ "Political 'fatwa': Voting for PTI is haram, says Maulana Fazl". The Express Tribune. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  24. ^ "A PTI vote is a haram vote: JUI-F". Pakistan Today. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  25. ^ "JUI-F's Azadi March to enter Islamabad via Faizabad Interchange | Samaa Digital". Samaa TV. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  26. ^ "How many people are participating in Fazlur Rehman's Azadi March?". The News. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
Preceded by
Benazir Bhutto
Leader of the Opposition
2004–2007
Succeeded by
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi