The leader of Pakistani Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has proposed the formation of an alliance between the nation's religious parties, according to Pakistan's The News International. The new alliance could take the place of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA)—the previous religious coalition opposing the government and U.S. forces in the region—and capitalize on political chaos in the South Asian country.
Along with JI, the proposed alliance would bring together Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) and any other religious party that wanted to join, said JI leader Ameer Munawar Hasan.
According to the JI, an 'MMA-like' alliance "was the need of the hour and that its formation was imperative," to put additional pressure on Pakistan's weak national government. Like its predecessor, the new coalition plans to implement Sharia law in the country and end cooperation with the U.S. in the region.
The original MMA alliance was formed shortly after 9/11 and achieved huge gains in the 2002 elections. However, the group suffered a setback when Islamist party Jamiat Ahle Hadith left the alliance in August of that year. It then reached another stumbling block when the president of the alliance died in December 2003.
Conflict between the two main parties, JI and JUP, reached a high point in 2007 and resulted in a split in 2008, when JUP participated in polls boycotted by other parties.