The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl's (JUI-F) recently expelled members are likely to form a rival faction to the party, according to a news report.
The JUI-F's disciplinary committee had expelled Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, Maulana Gul Naseeb and Maulana Shujaul Mulk on Friday for violating the party's discipline.
The move had come a few fays after Sherani publicly lashed out at the JUI-F chief, accusing Fazl of "being selected" and stating that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — the Opposition's 11-party alliance — was created for personal gains.
According to a report in Dawn, the recently-expelled leaders of the party are meeting in Islamabad next week and shortly after, will announce the formation of a new faction of the JUI-F during a press conference.
'Like-minded' members of the JUI-F are expected to attend the meeting — which is expected to take place on December 29 — called by the recently-expelled leaders of the party.
A source, according to the report, had revealed that the JUI-F's dissidents were being led by former chairman of the Islamic Ideology Council, Maulana Sherani, who had served as the chief of the Balochistan chapter of the JUI-F for 32 years.
One of the expelled leaders from the party, MNA Maulana Shuja, had accused Fazl of driving a wedge between the senior and junior cadres of the JUI-F.
He accused Fazl of organising sit-in protests across the country to avoid answering to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for his alleged corruption.
"If Maulana sahib is clean, he should present his record before NAB and everything would be clear," he had said in a statement on Saturday.
Read more: JUI-F expels Maulana Sherani, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed over controversial statements
'Maulana Fazlur Rehman is selected'
Maulana Sherani had earlier this week lashed out at the JUI-F chief, saying that the PDM has been set up for "personal gains".
Shedding light on the PDM's plan to topple Prime Minister Imran Khan's government, Sherani had said that the 11-party alliance will not be able to do that.
"I had predicted it a long time ago that Imran Khan's government will complete its five-year term," Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani said. "He will stay in power for the next five years too."
Taking a jibe at Fazl, Sherani had said that the JUI-F chief is himself "selected," therefore, he has no right to say that Prime Minister Imran Khan was selected to become the premier instead of being elected.
JUI-F breaks silence on Fazl's absence from Benazir Bhutto's martyrdom anniversary
The JUI-F chief's absence from the 13th martyrdom anniversary of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto fueled speculations that Fazl was unhappy with the PDM and that the Opposition's alliance was heading towards a rift.
The PPP and the PML-N have both downplayed his absence, negating the impression that the alliance was finding it difficult to be on the same page.
Speaking to the media at the Sukkur airport on Sunday, JUI-F secretary-general Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidery categorically denied reports that Fazl was unhappy with the PDM.
"Bilawal [also] did not come to Mardan. Should we then say that he was upset [with the PDM]?" he asked, adding that it had already been decided that Fazl would not attend the PDM gathering in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh today.
"Maulana Fazlur Rehman is not upset. His stance has remained unchanged since day one, that [Opposition lawmakers] should not have taken the oath of allegiance," he said.
He challenged the government to compete with the Opposition as a political entity and not via the use of force.