Maulana Fazlur Rehman next president of Pakistan?

Taslima Jamal

Maulana Fazlur Rehman

The next national elections in Pakistan are scheduled to be held in February next year. Regardless of whether Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) or Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) wins the majority, Jamiat Ulamae Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will be the country’s next president. A spokesperson of JUI-F claimed this on Sunday (December 3). News from Jio News.

The current president of Pakistan Arif Alvi’s five-year term ended on September 8. However, he continues to serve as the country’s head of state under Article 44 of the Pakistani Constitution. According to Article 44, the President can hold office in the absence of the Provincial and National Assemblies. In Pakistan, the provincial assembly was dissolved in January this year and the national assembly last August.

In the Southeast Asian country, the President is elected in a special session of the Parliament, the Senate and the four Provincial Assemblies in accordance with Article 41 (3) of the Constitution. Arif Alvi is the fourth head of state of Pakistan to complete his full term.

In a recent interview to a local TV channel, JUI-F leader Hafiz Hamdullah said that if Maulana Fazlur Rehman can be made the head of the multi-party alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), then he can also be made the country’s president.

Who is Fazlur Rehman?
In the 2018 Pakistan national election, Imran Khan contested in five seats and won all of them, and later became the prime minister. Maulana Fazlur Rehman contested in three seats and lost in all the seats. But in the following years, this Janu politician of Pakistan led from the front in the movement to oust Imran.

Anti-Imran campaign
The PDM chief has been campaigning relentlessly against Imran Khan since 2019. Later that year, his organization Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur (JUI-F) laid siege to Islamabad and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and fresh national elections. Fazlur Rehman’s movement was later supported by PML-N and PDP.

united movement
In 2019, when Imran Khan’s economic management and corruption in Pakistan became difficult, Fazlur Rehman called a massive rally with his supporters at Islamabad’s D-Chowk or Democracy Chowk. His movement, known as the ‘Azadi March’, has been compared to Imran Khan’s 2014 anti-corruption sit-in against the Nawaz Sharif government.

Although Imran Khan’s movement did not bring down the Nawaz government, the people believed that it was possible to build a ‘New Pakistan’. After four years, Imran took oath as the Prime Minister. And Fazlur Rehman’s Azadi March laid the foundation for the formation of the PDM in September 2020. In the absence of Nawaz Sharif, late Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, known names in Pakistani politics at that time, Fazlur Rahman became the face of the movement against Imran Khan despite the insignificant position of the party in the parliament.

From this, it is clear why Imran Khan accepted Fazlur Rehman, eight months younger than him, but more experienced in politics, as a threat to his government. Imran Khan mocked this 68-year-old leader as ‘Diesel’ many times as he was once in charge of the Oil Ministry.

Enemy of Imran
In 1980, when Imran Khan completed nine years of playing his first Test cricket match, Fazlur Rehman started his political career. In 1992, when Imran won the only ODI World Cup for Pakistan, Rehman became a member of the Pakistan Parliament for the first time. When Imran Khan’s own political party emerged in 1996, Fazlur Rehman was part of Benazir Bhutto’s government and was in charge of the Petroleum Ministry.

Fazlur Rehman’s father was one of the signatories of the new constitution of Pakistan in 1973 but did not have much success in the electoral field. But his son has rightly taken an important position in the country’s politics. Time will tell whether he will land a bigger role in the coming days.

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