ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Islamabad ameer for the last many years, Zubair Farooq, has quit the party and announced he will contest the election as an independent candidate.
Farooq, who joined the jamaat in 1988, claimed that a ‘mafia’ was active against him inside the party which prompted him to resign.
However, sources state that his differences with the party were caused by political motives.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Farooq singled out ex-MNA Mian Muhammad Aslam, another JI stalwart from Islamabad, who he said tried to sideline him within the party. “He considers me a challenge to his leadership of the party in Islamabad,” Farooq said.
The dissident also blamed the party’s central leadership including Ameer Sirajul Haq for the party’s ‘flawed policies’ which led to the declining support for the party among public. “My fight is against the mafia who are imposed on the party. Sirajul Haq has also become a part of that mafia,” he said.
However, sources say the real reason behind the resignation is that both Farooq and Aslam insist on contesting from NA-54 Islamabad. It is believed the party wants Mian Aslam, who is central vice-ameer, to contest from this constituency,from where he was elected MNA in the 2002 elections. The party boycotted the polls in 2008, and in 2013 elections Aslam contested the same constituency but lost.
Similarly, Farooq contested the 2013 elections from the former NA 49 but lost too. Sources said Farooq wanted to get the ticket for NA-54 which is his home constituency. His differences with the party leadership led to his membership being suspended a few months ago and being restored again.
JI spokesperson Ameerul Azeem said leaving the party and running independently was Farooq’s personal decision. He added that Farooq had differences and disagreement with party leadership over some matters including the ticket issue. “These things are unusual for Jamaat-e-Islami. I hope things would be sorted out and issues settled soon,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2018.