Fazlur Rehman to be next president whether PPP or PML-N win poll: JUI-F

If Fazl can be made the head of the PDM then he can also be made the country's president, says JUI-F leader

By Web Desk
December 03, 2023
Maulana Fazlur Rehman waves to a crowd at a rally. — AFP/File

As the general elections draw closer, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Sunday announced that its chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will be the next president of Pakistan whether Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) or Pakistan Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) win the majority seat in the polls, slated to be held on February 8, 2024.

Incumbent President Arif Alvi's five-year term ended on September 8 this year. However, he is currently continuing as the country's head of state under Article 44 of the Constitution which allows the president to continue holding the office in the absence of the provincial and national assemblies — which were dissolved in January and August earlier this year, respectively.

The President of Pakistan is elected in a special session of the parliament, senate and all four provincial assemblies in accordance with Article 41 (3) of the constitution.

Alvi is the fourth head of state to complete his full term. The previous three presidents who completed their five-year terms were the fifth president Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry (1973 to 1978), the 11th president Asif Ali Zardari (2008 to 2013), and the 12th president Mamnoon Hussain (2013 to 2018).

In an interview with local TV channel, JUI-F leader Hafiz Hamdullah said if Fazl can be made the head of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a multiparty alliance, then he can also be made the country's president, Geo News reported.

Hamdullah also took a veiled dig at the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for "keeping an eye" on Balochistan.

"Father-son and father-daughter duos keep an eye on Balochistan's [politics], let's see what results it bears [in future]," he said.

Firing a fresh salvo at the Imran Khan-led party, Hamdullah said the PTI's agenda was his party's main concern and ruled out the possibility of any alliance with the PTI.

Responding to another question, the JUI-F leader asked: “Was there no other worker in PTI except Gohar Khan?”

A day earlier, PTI chose a new party chairman, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who was nominated by Khan to contest for the top slot. PTI’s Chief Election Commissioner Niazullah Niazi announced the results, saying Barrister Gohar was elected unopposed following the intra-party election held that day.

Barrister Gohar’s nomination as party chair became a controversial subject within the PTI when his name was revealed by the party's Senor-Vice President Sher Afzal Marwat earlier this week saying that he would be the party's candidate for chairman after Khan decided to abstain from contesting for the top post owing to legal challenges including his five-year disqualification in the Toshakhana case.

To another query, Hamdullah said that they made an electoral alliance with the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) in Sindh, adding that PTI was not part of the alliance.