The decision of some defiant Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) workers to take part in the coming elections in violation of the party’s boycott decision is humiliation of the revolutionary JI, its shura and Amir, said an embarrassed Sirajul Haq, former provincial Senior Minister and JI NWFP chief while addressing a big gathering at Dir bazaar. He said the news about a rift in the JI brought a bad name to “a party endearvouring for the enforcement of Sharia.”
Siraj was in Dir to convince a panel of four party dissidents, bent upon contesting elections in contradiction of the party decision to stay away from the same as a protest against Musharraf’s presidency, ban on media and independent judiciary, killings in tribal areas, price-hike and US formula election. He was also here to ask his party workers to boycott the upcoming “fraud elections,” and that JI had no candidates anywhere in the country including Upper Dir.
He regretted that all the top leaders including Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Munawar Hassan and Liaqat Baloch withdrew their nomination papers in line with the party decision to boycott the forthcoming elections being held under US umbrella, but a few defiant, happened to be the relatives of local JI leaders Bahram Khan and Fasihullah, in Upper Dir revolted against it. It may be mentioned that a panel of four JI workers including two former MPAs, Fareed Khan and Hayat Khan, rejected party decision to boycott the elections and decided to contest election. A member of the influential Sahibzada family, Sahibzada Sibghatullah, is contesting on NA-33 Upper Dir against party wishes. The revolt had created a rift in the ostensibly discipline JI. “The media, parties and people taunt us that your candidates are contesting elections in Upper Dir despite a boycott announcement,” Siraj expressed embarrassment.
He said a committee would meet them as a jirga to persuade them on honouring the party decision but warned to expel them from the party if they did not withdraw from the contest. The office bearers of the local chapter of the party expressed indifference of the contestants and urged its workers not to cast their votes. However, the panel was adamant on contesting the elections and continued its election campaign till the filing of this report. Reportedly, the party had given December 25 as a deadline for the withdrawal from the contest.
While convincing his religion-loving audience on boycott, he made some interesting statements despite the fact his coalition government of religious parties miserably failed to promulgate Islamic system in the province in its five-year rule. “If they (the dissidents) don’t believe in JI ideology—that is enforcement of Sharia, promoting Prophet’s Sunnah and giving people paradise— they should leave our party and join PPPP, ANP, PML and others,” he said, referring to the rebel workers. In his speech he twice said JI would “give paradise” to its followers.
Ridiculously, he said his party participated in the 2002 general elections held under the leadership of Pervez Musharraf for the enforcement of Sharia but now boycotting elections in 2008 for the same. “At that time participation was for Sharia, and now boycott is for Sharia,” he declared. He informed that 47 JI Shura members out of 62 opposed participation in the January 8 elections considering it strengthening the US.
Sirajul Haq predicted the coming elections would bring a puppet government like Afghanistan and Iraq, alleging the 2008 elections were being financed and planned by the US to pave way for Benazir. “She has brought US agenda. She wants to hand over Abdul Qadir to US and allow its forces to strike inside Pakistan,” he said, referring to Benazir’s statements. “The American ambassador to Pakistan is acting as viceroy,” he said and added that Lal Masjid, Swat, Waziristan and Bajaur operations were conducted on the behest of the US.
He maintained that all political leaders including Nawaz Sharif, Benazir and Asfandyar would repent on taking part in the fraud elections, as they would be rigged. He wondered whether the country had any rules or it was a jungle, referring to recent sweeping powers of the President he got after lifting of emergency. “Neither he nor secret agencies could be challenged in any court,” he added.
Former provincial health minister Inayatullah, naib provincial amir of JI Mirajuddin, ex-MNA Asadullah, ex-MPA Bahram Khan, Fasihullah and others also spoke on this occasion.