Lahore - A legal battle is in the offing between Jamiat Ulema Pakistan leadership, as Dr Abul Khair assuming the name of JUP-Noorani has taken six small factions of the party into his wings.

Six small factions of the JUP announced unification with the JUP-Noorani group under the leadership of Dr Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair during a news conference at the Press Club here on Thursday.

Soon after this political move on part of Dr Abul Khair, a spokesman of the already existing Noorani group announced to issue a legal notice to the new one before taking the matter to a court of law.

Dr Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair addressing the news conference claimed he was still heading the JUP-Noorani group and was enjoying complete backing of the two sons of veteran JUP leader Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani, namely Shah Anas Noorani and Shah Awais Noorani. He maintained that the other groups headed by Qari Zawwar Bahadur and Pir Ejaz Hashmi had ceased to exist after he (Dr Zubair) had parted ways with the rebelling leaders.

The other constituent groups of the new group included JUP-Sawad Azam headed by Pir Mehfooz Mashadi, who is a PML-N MPA. Besides, JUP-Niazi group headed by Pir Masoom Hussain Naqvi, Muttahida JUP headed by Ghulam Shabbir Qadri, JUP-Nifaz Sharia headed by Mustafa Ashraf Rizvi and JUP-Mehmood Gujrati group headed by Saeed Ahmad Shah Gujrati, are the other components of the new group.

Except for Saeed Ahmad Shah Gujrati, all heads of other component groups were present at the press conference and expressed confidence in Dr Zubair and his leadership.  Dr Zubair announced that he was appointed as president of new JUP, while Pir Masoom Naqvi as chairman Supreme Council, while Pir Mehfooz Mashadi was secretary general. Pir Nasir Jamil Hashmi and Ghulam Shabbir Qadri were appointed as vice presidents.

Other leaders from the constituent groups present on the occasion included Dr Amjad Chishti, Pir Ghulam Rasool Awaisi, Bilal Chishti and others.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the JUP-Noorani group claimed that setting up a new group with the name of an already existing group was a conspiracy which was evident from the fact that its secretary general was Pir Mehfooz Mashadi who was expelled from Noorani group last year and was an MPA of the PML-N.

The spokesman said the JUP-Noorani is a religio-political party registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan and a legal notice was being issued to Dr Zubair and other office-bearers in this regard. He added the matter would soon be taken to a court of law.