LAHORE - Political circles are shocked over election of Masroor Nawaz Jhangvi, a son of Haq Nawaz Jhangvi who had founded Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan – a sectarian organistion that was later banned in the country.

Questions have been raised as to how his candidature was allowed despite that the National Acton Plan is underway in the country, and why people voted for a candidate with such background.

Mainstream opposition parties termed the happening failure of the system that allowed entry of a person in Schedule 4 to the provincial legislature, giving a wrong message to the world community and the security forces fighting against extremism and terrorism.

The ruling party legislators, however, avoided saying anything about the background of the newly-elected MPA, saying it was the verdict of the electorate.

PTI legislator from Rawalpindi, Arif Abbasi said, “It is right of the electorate to choose a person of their choice. People vote keeping in view ideology, caste, personality and other such credentials of a candidate. Besides this, there are other factors that contribute to the election of a person with such background.

“Though the ruling party fielded its candidate, it did not come out to support him with the intensity it showed in previous bye-elections. Unlike the previous bye-elections, the administration was not with the ruling party candidate. It provided suitable environment to Mr Jhangvi to contest and even win elections.”

Arif said this election has conveyed a wrong message to the world as well as the security agencies fighting against terrorists.

PTI’s MPA from Lahore Dr Murad Ras said that it was failure of all relevant departments. He said that identifying such persons in bye-election was much easier than in the general elections. As such, he said, the election commission did not fulfil its responsibility to screen out Mr Jhangvi.

“Rana Sanaullah group supported Mr Jhangvi against the candidate of his own party – the ruling PML-N. It means that practically the government in fact supported Mr Jhangvi. First, the government did not raise the issue at the time of acceptance of nomination papers of Mr Jhangvi and later supported him through Sanaullah group.”

He said that “Mr Jhangvi had promised voters to get funds for his constituency. Only government and not the opposition can provide funds.”

Through this election, Dr Murad said, it has been conveyed to the world that there was no system in the country and anyone regardless of his background could reach legislative assemblies.

“Thousands of soldiers and innocent people have lost lives in war on terror. Election of a person with this background has conveyed a wrong message to the security agencies also,” the PTI leader said, adding, he himself was not feeling good about it.

PML-N MPA from Toba Tek Singh Mian Muhammad Rafiq said that it was right of the voters to choose any candidate they want.

“Once a person is declared eligible for elections, all depends on voters. It is the right of candidates to question eligibility of contestants. I personally don’t know what happened during filing, scrutiny and acceptance of nomination papers. Contesting candidates or people of Jhang can describe the real picture”, he said.

The similar feelings were expressed by another ruling party MPA, from Kasur, Malik Ahmad Saeed Khan.

“I don’t know what happened in Jhang. Factors vary from constituency to constituency. But one thing is clear that it is the right of people to elect any candidate. I don’t know whether Mr Masroor has any link with a banned outfit or not,” he said.

PML-Q legislator from Sargodha Ch Aamir Sultan Cheema said that the ruling party fielded candidate but did not give him support.

“The PML-N gave favour to Mr Jhangvi by not questioning his eligibility at the time of acceptance of nomination papers. One faction of the ruling party supported Mr Jhangvi that proved decisive in election results. Promise of Mr Jhangvi regarding (development) package for the constituency clearly showed backing of the government,” he said.

PPP-P MPA from Rahim Yar Khan Qazi Ahmad Saeed said that government support always prove decisive in bye-elections. “The government was not with their own candidate in Jhang,” he said, adding, it was a negative message to the forces fighting war on terror.

Jamat-e-Islami Spokesperson Amirul Azeem said it was not a new thing in Pakistan. “It is failure of the entire system. Defaulters, corrupt, fake degree holders and even convicts can contest and win elections in Pakistan. There is no mechanism to check entry of such people to the assemblies,” he added.

Late Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, the father of Masroor Nawaz Jhangvi, had a considerable following among sunni Muslims of the area and he founded the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (Guardians of the Prophet's Companions) in 1985 to counter Shia influence in the area.

The SSP, originally formed by the name of Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba, was first banned by President Pervez Musharraf in 2002 as a terrorist organisation and later in March 2012. Its cadres reorganised themselves under a new name, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ). The newly-elected MPA, Masroor Jhangvi is backed by the ASWJ.

A more dreadful extremist organisation and an offshoot of SSP, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (The Army of Jhangvi) was founded in 1996, after Haq Nawaz Jhangvi’s death, by former SSP activists Riaz Basra, Malik Ishaq, Akram Lahori, and Ghulam Rasool Shah.

fielded its candidate, it did not come out to support him with the intensity it showed in previous bye-elections. Unlike the previous bye-elections, the administration was not with the ruling party candidate. It provided suitable environment to Mr Jhangvi to contest and even win elections.”

Arif said this election has conveyed a wrong message to the world as well as the security agencies fighting against terrorists.

PTI’s MPA from Lahore Dr Murad Ras said that it was failure of all relevant departments. He said that identifying such persons in bye-election was much easier than in the general elections. As such, he said, the election commission did not fulfil its responsibility to screen out Mr Jhangvi.

“Rana Sanaullah group supported Mr Jhangvi against the candidate of his own party – the ruling PML-N. It means that practically the government in fact supported Mr Jhangvi. First, the government did not raise the issue at the time of acceptance of nomination papers of Mr Jhangvi and later supported him through Sanaullah group.”

He said that “Mr Jhangvi had promised voters to get funds for his constituency. Only government and not the opposition can provide funds.”

Through this election, Dr Murad said, it has been conveyed to the world that there was no system in the country and anyone regardless of his background could reach legislative assemblies.

“Thousands of soldiers and innocent people have lost lives in war on terror. Election of a person with this background has conveyed a wrong message to the security agencies also,” the PTI leader said, adding, he himself was not feeling good about it.

PML-N MPA from Toba Tek Singh Mian Muhammad Rafiq said that it was right of the voters to choose any candidate they want.

“Once a person is declared eligible for elections, all depends on voters. It is the right of candidates to question eligibility of contestants. I personally don’t know what happened during filing, scrutiny and acceptance of nomination papers. Contesting candidates or people of Jhang can describe the real picture”, he said.

The similar feelings were expressed by another ruling party MPA, from Kasur, Malik Ahmad Saeed Khan.

“I don’t know what happened in Jhang. Factors vary from constituency to constituency. But one thing is clear that it is the right of people to elect any candidate. I don’t know whether Mr Masroor has any link with a banned outfit or not,” he said.

PML-Q legislator from Sargodha Ch Aamir Sultan Cheema said that the ruling party fielded candidate but did not give him support.

“The PML-N gave favour to Mr Jhangvi by not questioning his eligibility at the time of acceptance of nomination papers. One faction of the ruling party supported Mr Jhangvi that proved decisive in election results. Promise of Mr Jhangvi regarding (development) package for the constituency clearly showed backing of the government,” he said.

PPP-P MPA from Rahim Yar Khan Qazi Ahmad Saeed said that government support always prove decisive in bye-elections. “The government was not with their own candidate in Jhang,” he said, adding, it was a negative message to the forces fighting war on terror.

Jamat-e-Islami Spokesperson Amirul Azeem said it was not a new thing in Pakistan. “It is failure of the entire system. Defaulters, corrupt, fake degree holders and even convicts can contest and win elections in Pakistan. There is no mechanism to check entry of such people to the assemblies,” he added.

Late Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, the father of Masroor Nawaz Jhangvi, had a considerable following among sunni Muslims of the area and he founded the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (Guardians of the Prophet's Companions) in 1985 to counter Shia influence in the area.

The SSP, originally formed by the name of Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba, was first banned by President Pervez Musharraf in 2002 as a terrorist organisation and later in March 2012. Its cadres reorganised themselves under a new name, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ). The newly-elected MPA, Masroor Jhangvi is backed by the ASWJ.

A more dreadful extremist organisation and an offshoot of SSP, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (The Army of Jhangvi) was founded in 1996, after Haq Nawaz Jhangvi’s death, by former SSP activists Riaz Basra, Malik Ishaq, Akram Lahori, and Ghulam Rasool Shah.