JAMIATUL-ULEMAI-ISLAM (JUI) The Jamiatul-Ulemai-Islam was formed in 1919, in the wake of the Khilafat Movement The Khilafat Movement, in turn, was the result of Turkey’s war with Great Britain and the apprehension on the part of a segment of the Muslim leadership in India that the collapse of the Ottoman Empire was the result of a Western conspiracy to subjugate Islam Accordingly, the leadership of the JUI was intensely suspicious of British rule The JUI did not initially align itself with the Muslim League, the mainstream Muslim organization in British India, or support the idea of Pakistan, which was being espoused by the League under its president, Muhammad Ali Jinnah In November 1945, however, a group of Jamiatul-Ulemai-Hind (JUH) ulema (clerics) left the organization to form a splinter group named the Jamiatul-Ulemai-Islam and declared their support for the idea of PakistanThe JUI went through a number of organizational changes after its leaders migrated to Pakistan in August 1947, most of whom settled in Karachi, Pakistan’s first capital In the 1960s, the party developed a strong presence in Balochistan and the Northwest Frontier Province The JUI’s support base was in the intensely conservative countryside of these two provinces Its leaders, in particular, Maulana Mufti Mahmud in the Northwest Frontier Province, used the Friday sermon as an effective way of communicating political messages This grassroots work by the ulema in Balochistan and the Frontier paid off handsomely in the elections of 1970 when the JUI captured seven seats in the National Assembly

In December 1971, the military handed over power to President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and Bhutto allowed the formation of political administrations in the country’s four remaining provincesBalochistan, the Northwest Frontier Province, Punjab, and Sindh The JUI joined with the National Awami Party (NAP) to put coalition governments in place in both Balochistan and the Frontier Province Maulana Mufti Mahmud became the chief minister of the NWFP Bhutto, however, not at ease with the provincial governments that he could not control, dismissed the JUI-NAP administration in Balochistan and the NWFP on the pretext that they were acting against the integrity of Pakistan The dismissal of the JUI-NAPheaded administrations was to have many profound consequences for the evolution of democracy in Pakistan The removal of the two provincial Cabinets sent the signal to the parties not aligned with Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) that the prime minister was not prepared to tolerate any opposition to his rule The opposition reacted by coming together, in spite of ideological differencesIn 1977, the JUI joined the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) and organized to oppose the PPP in the elections that were held in February of that year (elections of 1977) The ability of the religious parties to muster popular support-particularly, after the Friday sermongalvanized the opposition, put Bhutto on the defensive, and created an opportunity for the army to intervene once again in politics The JUI played an important role in the campaign against Bhutto and inadvertently set the stage for Pakistan’s third martial-law administrationWhen Maulana Mufti Mahmud died, and was succeeded by his son, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, an even closer relationship was forged between the PNA and JUI

Maulana Rahman’s move caused a split in the party, and resulted in its regionalization The JUI (Fazl Group[F]) remained a force only in the NWFP, while the Balochistan wing of the party went its separate wayIn the elections of 1990, the JUI (F) captured six seats in the National Assembly, four of them from the Northwest Frontier In the Frontier Provincial Assembly, the party took 15 seats in a house of 80 members This performance was repeated in the elections of 1993 After 1993 Maulana Fazlur Rahman became a vocal supporter of Benazir Bhutto, and was rewarded by her with the chairmanship of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the National Assembly The elections of 1997 saw a considerable reduction in the base of support for the JUI, both in the provincial and national legislatures The tide seemed to have turned against the party, in favor of the moderate but still conservative Pakistan Muslim League

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