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Move to oust Memon from key JUI post backfires

CHITRAL: A signature campaign has started within the JUI-F Lower Chitral to bring a no-confidence movement against its secretary general Hafiz Inam Memon and remove him from the post.

Hafiz Inam Memon

Signatures of executive committee members are being taken to oust JUI’s Memon from the post, a senior party leader confirmed to ChitralToday.

He said under the constitution of the party, at least 125 signatures of the executive committee members were needed to remove any office-bearer of the party.

Under the rules, after collecting the required number of signatures, an application should be submitted to the party’s provincial nazim for further action, he added.

He said the charge sheet against Memon included an allegation that he was involved in making a leaked telephonic conversation between JUI MPA Hidayatur Rehman and DC Lower Chitral Naveed Ahmed viral on social media last year.

The audio leak caused embarrassment for the MPA and his party and the issue was later resolved on the intervention of the chief minister in the presence of the then commissioner Malakand Division Riaz Khan Mahsud.

In reaction, however, the district cabinet of the JUI at a meeting on Saturday cancelled the basic membership of Molana Muhammad  Ilyas for 10 years and removed Salahuddin Toofan from the cabinet.

The action was taken against these two leaders on the charge of violating the policy of the party and propagating against its interest on the social media.

Molana Ilyas can file an appeal against the cancellation of his membership with the provincial leadership.

A source in the JUI told ChitralToday that the reason behind the row between a group in the JUI and Mr Memon was not the audio tape and neither Memon’s involvement in its leak was proved.

He said actually the group, comprising Molana Ilyas and others, wants to sideline Memon as because of his resources and links with the top central leadership of the party he was becoming a threat to their political existence.

He said Memon, originally from Karachi and married in Chitral, has direct links with central leaders of the JUI, including its chief Molana Fazlur Rehman.

He said because of the efforts of Mr Memon  recently Senator Talha Mahmood, another senior leader of the JUI, arranged food packages and cash for people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic from Kalash valleys up to Yarkhun.

He said with his resources, including a trust he owns, and connections with the top JUI leadership Memon could be a strong contender for a future political position such as a seat in the provincial assembly.

It may be noted that in Aug last year key provincial leaders of the JUI visited Chitral on the invitation of Memon. At the end of their visit, they held a press conference in Chitral and warned against the construction of the Aga Khan Diagnostic Centre in the town.

Some circles were of the opinion that because of the warning the local administration and police considered Memon a threat to communal harmony in Chitral and placed his name in the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

However, another source within the JUI said the basic reason behind the action against Memon was that he always stood eyeball to eyeball with the police and administration officers on different issues and was never on their good book and the latter took advantage of the presser to settle a personal score with him.

In the intra-party election held last year, Memon won the seat of general secretary, defeating the panel of former district naib nazim Molana Abdul Shakoor and ex-tehsil nazim Molana Muhammad Ilyas.

The source said due to his connections with the top JUI leaders and activism in the party within Chitral, many party leaders were not feeling comfortable and want to sideline him for good.

The source believed that leaders of another religious party also wanted their likeminded people in the cabinet of the JUI to manipulate and win their support during general and local government elections when the two parties usually join hands under the platform of the MMA.

The source said the latest move by some local leaders within the party to sideline Memon may not succeed but the grouping and leg pulling would surely damage the overall political strength of the JUI which has a strong vote bank in Chitral.

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