Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen to contest 100 NA and PA seats
After getting itself registered as a political party with the Election Commission, Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen (MWM) announced it would contest ‘directly and indirectly’ 100 seats of national and provincial assemblies.
The MWM led the protest sit-ins across the country against two deadly bomb blasts in Quetta which caused removal of the Balochistan government and launching of a crackdown on outlawed terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Contrary to the traditional mode of politics by religio-political parties in the country, not all candidates of the MWM will be religious scholars. The party’s political wing has identified constituencies with Shia majority as ‘soft seats’ to make a start and the party’s ulema and zakireen, women and social work wings already working in the areas will give their feedback to the political wing.
Secretary of MWM’s political wing Nasir Sheerazi, said that main purpose is to block the entry of extremist and takfiri nasbi elements into politics and pave way for ‘positive people’ to play an active role in the electoral process.”
He said the MWM would continue to oppose the parties, groups and individuals involved in crimes and acts of terrorism. “Not only Shias but a large number of Sunnis, mainly Barelvis, are against extremism and terrorism and they are our natural allies.”
According to him, times are changing and it is evident from the PML-N that has denied its electoral alliance with the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba.
When asked that people seldom cast their vote on the basis of religion or sect, Mr Sheerazi, a lawyer, said times were changing and there were gaps between voters and mainstream parties.
“We had to lead the protests (against extremists and bombings) which otherwise should have been done by political forces,” he said, adding that feedback suggested that people wanted political parties to mend their ways.
He said the MWM would field its own candidates for 60 national and 40 provincial assemblies’ seats in mostly Shia-dominated areas like Chakwal, Talagang, parts of Jhelum, Sheikhupura, Sargodha, Chiniot, Layah and Bakhar in Punjab and some areas in Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The party, he said, did not intend to go for a large political alliance and would make seat-to-seat adjustments. “We are a sect-based party and not a sectarian one and believe in fair politics.”
Another MWM leader said the party might support Faisal Karim Kundi in Dera Ismail Khan with a sizeable Shia population because he would contest against JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
“It is unlikely that we will support Sheikh Waqas Akram in Jhang. Although he is Shia, he has taken the seat as ‘family property’. We are in contact with Barelvis to defeat him and a Sipah-i-Sahaba candidate there,” he said.
He said the MWM had decided to field its Balochistan chief Maulana Maqsood Ali in Jacobabad and Dera Allah Yar.
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