Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) chief Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi, who lost the Jhang national and provincial assembly seats he had contested from, on late Tuesday night blamed Iran for his defeat.
Ludhianvi said that he had “won” both the seats. The ASWJ chief claimed that he had secured more than 72,000 votes, adding that he would move court against his ‘engineered defeat’. If the court orders a recount, he said, “I will become a member of the national and provincial assemblies.” He warned that if he was denied his ‘right’, he would be unable to guarantee peace in his hometown.
ASWJ, a Deobandi organisation, has often been accused of instigating hate crimes against Shias. Most of its workers and leaders come from Sipahe Sahaba which has been banned over terrorism charges.
Ludhianvi was addressing about 2,000 people at the graduation ceremony of 60 Jamia Manzoor students who had completed a hadith course.
Ludhianvi claimed that the Iranian government had threatened not to go ahead with the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project if he were elected.
Ludianvi also warned the government-in-waiting against “casting an evil eye on seminaries”. Designs against madressahs had landed Pervez Musharraf and Rehman Malik in trouble, he said.
Another ASWJ leader Maulana Qari Mansoor strongly objected when a student on stage raised the slogan, Aman Kay Dayi, Aman Pasand, Deoband, Deoband (The Deobandis are peaceful messengers of peace).
Mansoor reprimanded him: “Who do you want to appease?” He said that the Deobandis will not be peaceful until Kashmir became independent, the Palestine issue was resolved and peace was restored in Chechenya. He demanded jihad training at seminaries.
Dr Sher Ali Shah of Akora Khattak said Muslims should not waste their time learning English which “has no relevance for Muslims”. What was important, he said, was the study of Quran and Hadith “... nothing else”.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2013.