Jamaat-i-Islami abandons politics of alliances…even with religious parties
EXCLUSIVE: Amir Sirajul Haq declares Islamic system is panacea to all problems: Says JI will approach public with ‘revolutionary agenda’: Influence of feudalism, capitalists deter voters from religious parties: Pakistanis not independent even today as democracy has yet to arrive
The 58-year-old fifth Amir of the party, Sirajul Haq has been a former member of the Senate and finance minister of KP. He was re-elected for a second five-year term as JI chief in March 2019.
Holding the PML-N, PPP and PML-Q responsible for all problems facing the country, Sirajul Haq said now the Jamaat would approach the people with its “revolutionary agenda”. He said his party would implement its agenda and bring an end to the status quo, no matter how long it takes to achieve the goal.
In his opinion, the Islamic system alone could solve all kinds of problems.
He said it was because of the influence of feudalism and capitalists that people don’t vote for religious parties.
File photo of a Jamaat-i-Islami public rally.
Following is the abridged version of the interview:
Q: Pakistan was achieved in the name of Islam. But in elections, people don’t vote for religious parties despite their services in the propagation of this sacred system. Why is it so?
A: It is true that Pakistan was achieved by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the name of Islam. But, unfortunately, he got a very short time to enforce this system and honour his commitments to people.
After his death feudal and capitalists, who had supported the East India Company for the occupation of the subcontinent, seized power in Pakistan. They formed political parties, monopolized bureaucracy and took over the control of all institutions and became all-powerful.
Let me frankly say that the people of Pakistan are not independent even today. They don’t know the value of their vote.
They move around the feudal because the patwaris and police inspectors are under their influence.
It will not be wrong to say that so far democracy has not come to Pakistan.
Parties like PPP and PML are holding the field and calling the shots.
In the past, the Jamaat-i-Islami had set up the Pakistan National Alliance and the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and being a part of those alliances did not get enough time to reach the masses and apprise them of our own programme.
Now we have decided to work for our own agenda – which is completely ideological.
Q: In the situation that you have sketched what should the religious parties do to have a say in national affairs?
A: We have started preparations for the next general elections. We’ll put up own our candidates – honest and people of integrity.
We believe that solution to all our problems lies in the Islamic system.
Sectarian parties have divided the nation. It’s because of them that a united Ummah could not emerge.
Q: What’s the justification for the Jamaat-i-Islami to seek fresh elections when it knows that victory will go either to one party or the other identified by you? What will the Jamaat gain from fresh balloting?
A: We will take our message to the people. It’s the PTI, PPP and PML that are responsible for all problems facing the country. They are the real culprits. There is no difference between them.
Q: What, in your assessment, is the future of religious parties?
A: I reiterate that parties like PTI, PML-N and PPP have failed to deliver.
Now people have only one choice – to support the Jamaat-i-Islami, which is a revolutionary party. We stand by the people in all difficult situations. Recall any crisis in any field in the country and the Jamaat stood by the people.
I can say with certainty that the country’s future is linked to the Islamic system. The country needs this system.
Q: What about the future of other religious parties?
A: I’ll not offer any comment. They are sectarian parties. In Jamaat-i-Islami people belonging to all sects are there.
Unfortunately, sectarianism is reflected even from the names of other religious parties.
Q: Will it not be a right strategy for the religious parties to become religious wings of major parties and thus get their agendas implemented through them?
A: You should not forget that in the past the Jamaat-i-Islami had stood by the PML-N as a result of which Mian Nawaz Sharif became the prime minister. But he did not like a revolutionary agenda. He wanted monarchy.
If we support feudal or capitalists, they will use our patronage to multiply their assets. We don’t like to do this anymore.
That’s why we have decided to contest the elections from our own platform – with scale as our symbol.
We offer an alternative to the people.
Q: Does this mean that now you will not enter into an alliance with any party? Not even with any religious party?
A: Yes. Absolutely right.
We are a corruption-free party. There are no feudal in our party. We have no loan defaulters in our ranks.
The Jamaat wants to bring the status quo to an end.
Q. What steps are you taking for the realization of your goals?
A: We are establishing contacts with the people. We are organizing the youth, students, labour, doctors, engineers and scholars.
Our work can be seen on the ground.