We want to draw your attention towards a recent untoward incident
in which the local leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami resorted to threats
to stop the holding of an election-related program of the Aurat
Foundation in Timergarah area of Dir district, NWFP.
The Aurat Foundation had arranged a networking meeting on April
07, 2005 in collaboration with the local social organizations as
part of the campaign for women representation in the expected Local
Government election. Social and political figures had been invited
to the program. Prior permission had been obtained from the District
Government, and the Timergarah Rest house booked for that. But the
District Police Officer phoned up an Aurat Foundation staff member
and got information about the meeting, adding the local leaders
of the Jamaat-e-Islami had threatened to stop holding of the meeting
by force as they believed that a large number of women had been
invited to the meeting. It was explained to the DPO that neither
woman had been invited, nor would any attend the moot. The police
officer was also informed that keeping in view the social norms
and religious situation of the area, a separate meeting had been
convened for the women in a nearby village.
After getting this assurance, the DPO talked to the Jamaat leaders.
He again contacted the AF staff members to tell that he had spoken
to the JI local leaders and cleared their reservations. However,
he suggested that the AF women staff members should keep away from
the meeting to avoid any unpleasant situation. . The AF entertained
the request accordingly.
Despite all that, the Timergarah Tehsil nazim went to the Rest
house and let loose angry outbursts. He asked the organizers to
remove the chairs and tents from the venue, saying AF would not
be allowed to hold the meeting. He got the rest house locked by
force. To forestall any untoward incident, the AF shifted the
meeting venue as people had already been invited and postponement
was not possible at this stage.
On the morning of April 07, 2020 a local leader of the Jamaat
, Mr Aizazul Mulk Afqari reached the new venue for the meeting
along with his companions in two cars. Mr Afqari entered the Hujra.
The AF staff members and their local partners assured them the
AF staff members and their local partners were peaceful citizens
and had no differences with any political party. He was told that
the AF had always worked in collaboration with all the political
parties, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, and even JI local and
provincial leaders had participated in the AF seminars and programs.
He was convinced, albeit with difficulty. The meeting was held,
which was attended not only by provincial and district leadership
of the ANP, PPPP, JUI, PML (N) and PML (Q), but also former contenders
for the provincial and national assembly seats.
We have brought the above incident to the notice of the Jamaat-e-Islami
chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad so that such an embarrassing situation
does not arise in future.
We hope you will also support us by prevailing on the Jamaat-i-Islami
national and provincial leadership to stop creating hurdles in
way of those working for the women participation in the Local
Government polls. Your letters, faxes, emails and phone calls
to the Jamaat leaders will definitely strengthen the hands of
all those who want women represented in the local governance.