Shia Political Parties

The prominent Shia parties are the Islami Tehrik Pakistan (ITP) (formerly TNFJ-Husseini), the Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafaria (Moosavi Group) and the Majlis-e-Wahdutul Muslimeen.

Islami Tehrik Pakistan (ITP)

The ITP was founded by Allama Mufti Jaffer Hussein in April 1979 to represent the country’s main minority sect. It transformed into a party in 1987 prior to which it acted largely as a pressure group. Allama Hussein had been a member of the Council of Islamic Ideology under Zia ul Haq but resigned in protest against Zia’s imposition of Hanafi jurisprudence as obligatory for members of all sects. Husseini was killed in 1988 by Sunni extremists, which sparked a wave of Sunni-Shia violence across the country. Allama Syed Sajid Ali Naqvi took over the party and subsequently entered into a temporary alliance with the PPP. The party was renamed the Tehreek-e-Jafaria Pakistan (TJP) and became part of the MMA in 2002. The party’s stated mandate is to protect the political and religious rights of Shias and to represent them politically. Musharraf banned the TJP as a terrorist outfit in 2002 but, like other banned groups, it re-emerged under a new name, the Islami Tehreek Pakistan (ITP).

Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafaria (Moosavi Group)

The Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafaria (Moosavi Group) is a splinter group of the former Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafaria (TNFJ). It does not participate in electoral politics. According to its leaders its aim is to lobby the government for increased protection of Shia rights.

Majlis-e-Wahdutul Muslimeen

Majlis-e-Wahdutul Muslimeen, another Shia party, was established in 2008 as a result of divisions within the ITP. Despite its Shia representation it has reportedly been in talks to ally with the JI in elections scheduled for 2013 (ICG Report 2011, p. 20).

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