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NWFP senior minister resigns

October 31, 2006


PESHAWAR, Oct 30: NWFP Senior Minister and provincial chief of Jamaat-i-Islami Sirajul Haq resigned from the provincial cabinet on Monday. “I have relinquished the cabinet post and asked Chief Minister Akram Durrani to forward my resignation to the governor,” Mr Haq told a crowded press conference later in the day.

He said that he had discussed the situation with JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad and that he wanted to concentrate on party affairs.

Earlier, addressing the participants of funeral prayers for the victims of Bajaur bombing in the tribal area, Mr Haq announced that he would quit the cabinet ‘to protest against the killing of Bajaur seminary students.’

However, sources said that his resignation had nothing to do with the Bajaur tragedy, rather it was a JI decision taken earlier, and Mr Haq was trying to draw political mileage by linking his resignation with Monday’s air strike.

Some of the JI leaders did not like Mr Haq’s holding of two posts at a time, one of the senior minister and second of the JI provincial chief, which they believed affected his performance, the sources said.

They said that the JI chief and the chief minister had discussed resignation of Mr Haq in Peshawar on Sunday and it was expected that he would announce on Monday that he was going to retain one of the two posts.

The Bajaur bombing came as an opportunity for him to draw political mileage by resigning, they added.

However, Mr Haq has denied that he has resigned under pressure from his party colleagues.

Mr Haq held the portfolio of the provincial senior minister, ministry of finance and ministry of planning and development.

During the press conference he did not mention that he had resigned because of the madressah bombing. He said that he would not quit the provincial assembly seat.