Saturday February 24, 2024

Organisation under stress plans to join politics

By Azaz Syed
February 12, 2017

ISLAMABAD: An orgainsation that recently faced government action has decided to join politics by registering it in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).  

“We have decided to come in politics. However we would formally register ourselves after passing the ongoing phase which developed after our placement on watch list by the federal government,” says a key leader of the organization while requesting anonymity. 

The world believes that the organization is front of a militant group, which allegedly masterminded attacks in India. The organization chief, however, always denied any role by his organization in the attack. Many also allege and point fingers that the organization is being patronized by the influential circles. 

A leader of the organization claimed, “We will register ourselves in present name, come what may.”  

The sources claim that the decision in this regard was actually taken by the head of the organisation in a consultative meeting and has been circulated to all the key office bearers across the country, days before it faced government action.

It faces allegations of terrorism in the region which it denies time and again. However it is broadly believed that the organization possessed the largest assets and structure network in Pakistan. 

The sources within the organisation claim that they possessed assets almost worth Rs2 billion across the country. 

Following attacks in India were blamed on the organization, it changed its policy regarding the movable and immovable assets and decided that the assets would be registered in the name of the concerned district and provincial designated leaders. 

In term of numbers and offices, it has the biggest presence in Punjab where the organization and its offices are working in all 36 districts. Likewise the organization is also present in 26 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkwa and 23 districts of Sindh. The sources within the organization claim that as they have their network of offices in 12 districts however their followers are present in 29 out of total 30 districts of the conflict-hit province of Balochistan which borders both with Afghanistan and Iran.

“Since our inception we have trained almost more than 2 million activists across Pakistan, and around 12,000 are currently serving in our offices located almost across Pakistan,” a leader of the organisation added.  

The sources claim that the decision to adopt a political face contains two main reasons. The first reason is making the organization acceptable on political arena. The second reason of joining politics is engaging its activists to deter possible defections of its members to militant groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or commonly known as Daesh.  

The organization always remained close to the powerful circles and never defied the state but in the past roughly 500 of its activists defected and joined anti-Pakistan militant organizations including Daesh.  

In this regard another key leader of the organisation referred to the example of an activist, who was its fierce speaker, defected the organisation soon after the South Waziristan operation in Wana. After his brief stay in Markazi Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith led by Senator Professor Sajid Mir he joined Daesh with some of his followers. 

He led Daesh group that allegedly carried out different activities until their group was busted and he was picked up in 2014 from Sialkot. 

The sources claim that each time when the military operation was carried out in tribal areas or elsewhere the organisation’s ranks faced the pressure to join the elements fighting state and sometimes they defected. However the organisation’s leadership always sided with the powerful circles. The sources also claim that following attacks in India, during a consultative meeting a participant expressed his opinion to react against the state, however the head of the organisation gave him an immediate shut up call.  

This time the organisation leaders in their meeting in Lahore on January 31, 2017 expressed anger over the actions by the government.  

During the same meeting the leaders were also of the view that the steps should be taken to avoid the constant embarrassment of the organization.  

The sources within the organization say that they have decided to convert themselves, however the state should also be fair with them and take steps to bring them to the mainstream.  

The official spokesman of the organisation was unavailable for comment despite repeated efforts to reach him. His close aide says that he is keeping a low profile following action by the government against his organisation.