MANSEHRA: A group of Kohistan clerics, mostly members of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, on Friday issued a fatwa (Islamic decree) against canvassing by and for women election candidates and declared the act un-Islamic.

“The women’s act of going from door to door to solicit votes is against sharia [Islamic laws],” declared seminary head Mufti Gul Shahzada after a meeting of clerics in the Kandia area of Upper Kohistan district.

He said the fatwa against women’s election campaign was issued by 30 authorised religious scholars and endorsed by participants, including around 400 clerics from Kohistan region.

For the first time in Kohistan, three women have entered the electoral arena.

They insist it is sinful to defy fatwa

They include the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-backed Tehmina Faheem (PK-31 Kohistan-I) and Momina Basit (PK-33 Kolai-Palas) and independent Sannaya Sabeel (PK-33 Kolai-Palas).

Cleric Shahzada claimed that it was sinful to defy the fatwa.

He also said the sharia disallowed the casting of vote along ethnic lines, so residents shouldn’t do so.

When contacted, women contender Tehmina Faheem said she would respond to the decree after consulting her party’s leadership.

The other candidates didn’t comment on the issue.

NO SEAT ADJUSTMENT: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl provincial emir and Senator Maulana Attaur Rehman on Friday said his party didn’t make electoral alliance or seat adjustment with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for the Feb 8 general elections.

“The PML-N leaders are falsely propagating that we [JUI-F] will withdraw our election candidate in favour of their supreme leader, Nawaz Sharif, in Mansehra’s NA-15 constituency.

This is not going to happen as there is no electoral alliance or seat adjustment between us,“ Mr Rehman told a public meeting here.

The JUI-F leader said the PML-N feared its leader’s defeat in the constituency and therefore, it had resorted to “false propaganda.”

He said the party’s parliamentary board led by central emir Maulana Fazlur Rehman fielded Mufti Kifayatullah as the NA-15 candidate against Mr Sharif and it won’t withdraw him from the electoral contest.

“Maulana Kifayatullah is the strongest candidate in NA-15, so he will win the election convincingly,” he said.

The JUI-F provincial emir said Mr Sharif publicly acknowledged that JUI-F emir Maulana Fazlur Rehman offered help to the PML-N to form a coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the 2013 elections but the offer was rejected clearing the way of the PTI to power.

He said had Mr Sharif accepted Mr Fazl’s offer, thecountry’s politics and economy would not have been shattered by the PTI government.

Mr Rehman said his party was committed to bringing about an “Islamic revolution” in the country through people’s votes.

JUI-F candidates Mufti Kifayatullah, Maulana Nasir Mehmood, Abrar Hussain Tanoli, Fahd Habib and SardarWaqarul Muluk also addressed the gathering.

DIES: Senior lawyer and former principal of the SM Law College Karachi Umar Farooq passed away here on Friday.

His funeral prayers were attended by people from all walks of life, especially lawyers.

Mr Farooq was laid to rest at a local graveyard.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2024


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