UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam
Assembly of Islamic Clergy

The pro-Taliban Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and Sami-ul Haq's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) are both Deobandi Sunni groups. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (also written Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Islam and abbreviated JUI), led by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, had its origins in the Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Hind (JUH), founded by a group of ulama of the Deoband Movement in prepartition India. The JUH argued that Muslims could coexist with other religions in a society where they were not the majority. In 1945, however, a group of JUH ulama, led by Maulana Shabir Ahmad Usmani, split off from the JUH, formed the JUI, and gave their support to the movement for an independent Pakistan.

Since 1947 the JUI has undergone a number of organizational and program changes. It developed strong support in the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan. In 1972 it joined the NAP to form governments in those two provinces. 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'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.

Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) is the largest Deobandi political outfit, and gave rise to the terrorist organizations like Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Jaish-i-Muhammad (JM), Sipah-e- Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ). Not only these organisations have been active in Kashmir and other parts of India but subsequently they also challenged the writ of Pakistani state. Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam (Fazal-ur-Rehman Group-JUI-F), headed by the former MNA, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, is believed to be running a large chain of deeni madaris in Baluchistan and some parts of the NWFP. There is a well-known madrassa in Dera Ismail Khan, the hometown of Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman.

Maulana Fazl ur-Rahman is the son of Mufti Mahmud (Former provincial Chief Minister). He is Ameer (President) of his political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Assembly of Pakistani Clergy). He is originally from the Abdulkhel Banyala area in the Dera Ismail Khan district of North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. He serves as the opposition leader in the National Assembly of Pakistan.

After completing an M.A. in Religious Studies, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman pursued a teaching career and is currently Principal of Jamia-al-Maroof Sharia. During his previous term as MNA, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman has served as Chairman Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly. Married and father of three sons and three daughters, he has travelled to several countries within Asia, Europe and Africa.

Fazl ur-Rahman inherited from his father mass public support from their native area of Dera Ismail Khan. Of the four general elections that Fazl ur-Rahman contested since 1988 from his national assembly constituency, NA-18, he won two with convincing margins. In the two he lost - in 1990 and 1997 - were, as his supporters put it, more because of the engineered results that entrusted heavy mandates to the Sharifs of Lahore on both the occasions. It was because of the family's mass public support and large vote bank in the Dera Ismail Khan constituency that Maulana Mufti Mahmood was the lone leader in Pakistan who had defeated the then invincible Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the 1970 general elections.

Fazl ur-Rahman built his public image by supporting Zulfaqir Ali Bhutto's daughter Benazir Bhutto during her second term as the prime minister. His cooperation with the PPP to some extent diminished temporarily 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.

United Council for Action (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, MMA) was established in 2001 by the Assembly of Islamic Clergy (Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam, JUI), the Assembly of Pakistani Clergy (Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan, JUP), the Islami Tehrik-i-Pakistan (TiP), the Pakistan Islamic Assembly (Jamaat-e-Islami-e-Pakistan, JIP), the Jammu and Kashmir Jamiat-e-Islami and the Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith (JAH). The electoral success of the MMA in the 2002 election is said to have been manipulated byMusharraf and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Many analysts have attributedthe success of the mullahs to the pre-poll scheming and restrictions imposed byGeneral Musharraf which rendered the mainstream parties orphaned and mauled.The military also encouraged the militants of jihadi groups to join one religiousparty or the other. The party which ultimately many joined was JUI (F). On September 16, 2008 Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman, MNA, Chief of the Jamiat Ulamae Islam, 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 Jamiat ul Ulema-e-Islam, whose chief Maulana Fazlur-Rehman had been leader of opposition in the National Assembly, had carved out a big support base in tribal areas. Maulana Fazlur Rehman wears robes of golden thread and was dubbed "Maulana Diesel" after allegations were made though never proven that he was involved in a fuel scam.

Maulana Atta-ur-Rehman took oath as the Minister for Tourism on Jan 26, 2009. He is the brother of Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and the vice president of JUI-F NWFP chapter. The very first order issued by our new minister of tourism was the cancellation of liquor permits of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) hotels, motels and restaurants with immediate effects. The minister said that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had stopped this culture of open selling of liquor but, later, 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.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 09-07-2011 13:03:15 ZULU