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PMLN’s granting ticket to an SSP activist unfolds an appalling vista – by Sadiq Ameen

nsLAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has issued a party ticket to Sardar Ebad Dogar, an alleged supporter of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, to contest the general election from the NA-178 constituency, Khangarh, a tehsil in Muzaffargarh.A hot debate about his candidature from the PML-N platform is budding on the social media, especially among the twitters. Khangarh is considered the second most violent area after Jhang when it comes to sectarian violence or Shia-Sunni conflict. It is said that both Sunnis and Shias are dominant in this tehsil, so sectarian violence is obvious, especially in the presence of militant outfits. The Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan is one of the militant or sectarian outfits in the area, which is supporting hate crime.

Dogar is a prominent religious hardcore figure from southern Punjab, who gained media attention when he announced Rs 20 million head money for then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer for voicing his support to Asia Masih, who was charged with blasphemy. Due to his hate speeches and announcement of the head money, Dogar had been placed under house arrest on January 5, 2011, a day after the governor’s murder. However, a close ally of Dogar told Daily Times that the financially strong leader was released soon after denying any involvement in the assassination, saying that his statement and announcement (regarding the head money) was just symbolic and a political stunt. The PML-N ticket holder will now face Nawabzada Iftikhar Ahmad Khan – a PPP ticket holder – and Jamshed Dasti.

Ebad Dogar is a former municipality chairman, a former tehsil nazim and also a former member of the JUI-F, led by Fazlur Rehman, who is known to have had sympathies for the Taliban. But Dogar’s affiliation with the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan was an open secret, as he is considered a prominent supporter and leader of the banned outfit. When this scribe contacted Dogar on his cell phone, he did not deny anything mentioned above, saying that he would not consider anyone, including himself, a Muslim and follower of Islam if he was not a ‘Sapahi of Sahaba’, and that he still wished to kill someone who was a blasphemer. About his arrest soon after the murder of the Punjab governor, he said there was no criminal charge against him, and the Election Commission of Pakistan had also approved his nomination papers.

Khangarh, on the West Bank of Chenab, is little more than a sleepy, dusty, and overgrown village. Time appears to have stopped not long after the British left in 1947. However, this town of about 100,000 people has been one of the focal points for sectarian violence over the recent years. And now PMLN has awarded the national assembly ticket from here to a tested long-time SSP associate. As if the Deep State’s support for the militants and the government’s connivance at their activities was not enough, it is very disheartening to see that a major mainstream party like PMLN is wooing their votes for political expediency.

Like Jhang, in Khangarh too there is long-standing resentment at the strong arm and violent ways of SSP and its descendant ASWJ, as the Shias of the area look nostalgically to the days when both sects lived in this Seraiki speaking area in total harmony. Now they feel hounded by the SSP and LeJ. This is the local variant of the game being played out in a large part of Pakistan. The weak hate laws and little government sway allows these sectarian militants to publish any propaganda they choose, whipping up the chauvinistic feelings of the majority population. As the elections approach in this constituency SSP and PMLN are in collusion to harness local chauvinistic emotion. The Shias are the fall guys. One would expect a party like PMLN to resort to more inclusive means to harness votes.

PMLN is not alone in cosying up to the SSP. PPP has also been observed cultivating them in certain areas. In fact pliant politicians across the spectrum are being used by the SSP and its tribe to hijack the political system in South and Central Punjab. With militants controlling large parts of the state and several politicians of the secular parties ANP and MQM falling to their bullets in KP and Sind, leaders in Punjab across PMLN and PPP have found it prudent to make friends with the militants. The reports emerging from different constituencies suggest that there is a nexus between politicians and extremists in quite a few constituencies. It is a pity to see the major national parties wooing organizations which believe in ‘annihilation of religious enemies’ and in extreme violence as a means to secure organizational goals and seize power. The current election shows that extremism has had a serious impact on politics, which is likely to increase with time. So confident are extremists about influencing polls that some of their ranks, with dozens of cases against them, are running for the assemblies. With more extremists waiting in the wings, the line between the politicians and the militants in Punjab, at the least, is expected to blur.

ppp-sunni

PML-N banks on a sectarian leader?By Kashif Hussain

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has issued a party ticket to Sardar Ebad Dogar, an alleged supporter of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, to contest the general election from the NA-178 constituency, Khangarh, a tehsil in Muzaffargarh.A hot debate about his candidature from the PML-N platform is budding on the social media, especially among the twitters.

Khangarh is considered the second most violent area after Jhang when it comes to sectarian violence or Shia-Sunni conflict. It is said that both Sunnis and Shias are dominant in this tehsil, so sectarian violence is obvious, especially in the presence of militant outfits. The Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan is one of the militant or sectarian outfits in the area, which is supporting hate crime.

Dogar is a prominent religious hardcore figure from southern Punjab, who gained media attention when he announced Rs 20 million head money for then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer for voicing his support to Asia Masih, who was charged with blasphemy.

Due to his hate speeches and announcement of the head money, Dogar had been placed under house arrest on January 5, 2011, a day after the governor’s murder. However, a close ally of Dogar told Daily Times that the financially strong leader was released soon after denying any involvement in the assassination, saying that his statement and announcement (regarding the head money) was just symbolic and a political stunt. The PML-N ticket holder will now face Nawabzada Iftikhar Ahmad Khan – a PPP ticket holder – and Jamshed Dasti.

Ebad Dogar is a former municipality chairman, a former tehsil nazim and also a former member of the JUI-F, led by Fazlur Rehman, who is known to have had sympathies for the Taliban. But Dogar’s affiliation with the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan was an open secret, as he is considered a prominent supporter and leader of the banned outfit.

When this scribe contacted Dogar on his cell phone, he did not deny anything mentioned above, saying that he would not consider anyone, including himself, a Muslim and follower of Islam if he was not a ‘Sapahi of Sahaba’, and that he still wished to kill someone who was a blasphemer. About his arrest soon after the murder of the Punjab governor, he said there was no criminal charge against him, and the Election Commission of Pakistan had also approved his nomination papers.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C04%5C22%5Cstory_22-4-2013_pg1_7#.UXScOi-Araw.twitter

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  • PML-N and SSP are two sides of one coin,
    As per renown journalist AMIR MATEEN, PML-N is crossing all moral values to become in power. There prime target is to get power, nothing else.

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