Fazal-ur-Rehman built his public image by engaging Zulfaqir Ali Bhutto's daughter Benazir Bhutto with the Taliban during her second term as the prime minister in the mid 90's. He earned his nickname, "Mulla Diesel" or "Maulana Diesel", after allegations of his involvement in a fuel sale scandal became public. The case was never proved and was never even filed in any court, not even by the Accountability Cell of the following Nawaz Sharif government. Even though the then Accountability Cell, headed by Saif-ur-Rahman did not spare any of the previous government allies. This and the fact the allegation as reported, refers to corruption in export of diesel (which Pakistan seldom does). He (and his party) has an extremely poor PR team. This is why, he is not generally liked by political commentators. His coalition's negotiation with Gen. Musharraf that led to 17th amendment, (which granted indemnity to some of Musharraf's acts and set a time frame from Musharraf leaving the Army Chief post), is widely criticized. He excuses himself by saying that Gen. Musharraf did not fulfill the constitutional requirements as per 17th amendment. He led the opposition in the National Assembly, but is alleged to make it a friendly opposition. Due to his weak PR team and reluctance by his party members to appear on TV, he could not sell the fact that MMA was the only party to sign a deal with Gen. Musharraf that has a clause regarding Musharraf departure. This is unlike Nawaz Sharif or Benazir Bhutto deal with Gen. Musharraf which were centered around safe exit, withdrawing of cases or return to Pakistan.
In February 18, 2008 elections, Fazal-ur-Rehman lost his seat from his home town Dera Ismail Khan. He, however, won a seat from Bannu while his brother Maulana Atta ur Rehman won the National Assembly seat in Dera Ismail Khan kum Tank. His party JUI currently has 7 National Assembly seats, 14 seats in NWFP provincial assembly, and 10 and 2 in Baluchistan and Punjab Assembly. These were pretty good result, keeping in mind that only a small part of the coalition was contesting the election. His party lost around 20 provincial seats in NWFP by a few hundred votes. Securing, so many votes (and reasonable number of seats), as an individual party of the 6 parties MMA, is testimony to the popularity of previous MMA provincial government.
Sep 11 2008 - the British Government declared Fazlur Rahman persona non-grata. Imposing a lifetime ban on him from entering the UK on the accusations of supporting terrorist groups and opposing military operations against them. Rehman failed to explain his position when contacted.