PESHAWAR: Jamaat-i-Islami Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan paid price for the party’s humiliating defeat in July 25, 2018 general elections and resigned from his office, sources said.

Mushtaq Ahmad, who was elected provincial chief of JI in 2018, submitted resignation to party emir Senator Sirajul Haq. JI provincial deputy chief Maulana Mohammad Ismail has been appointed acting chief of the party in the province.

Sirajul Haq has yet to accept resignation of Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and according to insiders efforts are underway to persuade him to revoke his decision. JI was routed in the general elections in the province including Malakand division, the stronghold of the party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Senator Sirajul Haq also lost elections from his home district Lower Dir. JI had contested elections from the platform of Mutahidda Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), an alliance of five religious parties including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl. JI had won only one seat of provincial assembly in the polls.

The party had constituted a commission to determine causes of defeat in elections, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. JI central deputy chief Asadullah Bhutto was heading the commission.

Sources said that the commission members visited all constituencies and presented report to central executive council in Mansoora, Lahore about two weeks ago. They said that the report pointed finger at Mushtaq for the party’s poor performance in the elections and “favouritsim” in allotment of tickets to candidates.

They said that Senator Mushtaq submitted his resignation to Sirajul Haq in protest against the findings of the commission report. Senator Mushtaq and JI provincial spokesman were not available for comments.

Serious said that differences had surfaced in the party, especially in Malakand division, over allotment of tickets and electoral alliance with JUI-F. A senior member of the party had filed nomination papers against Sirajul Haq.

Scores of senior members of the district executive council were expelled from the party and their basic memberships were also terminated on charges of violating JI constitution. Hundreds of office-bearers of JI had tendered resignations in different districts in protest against alliance with JUI-F.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019