JUI candidate’s visit to Ismaili Tariqa Board raises eyebrows

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CHITRAL: JUI-F candidate for NA-1 Talha Mahmood on Saturday visited the office of Ismaili Religious and Tariqa Board in Garam Chashma in connection with his election campaign. 

Ismaili scholar Ali Akbar Qazi and Arbitration Board Chairman Muhammad Afzal received the candidate belonging to Khanpur area of Khyber Pakthunkhwa.

Mr Mahmood also visited the tomb of Pir Nasir Khusraw in Garam Chashma. It’s for the first time that a candidate of a religio-political party has visited the Ismaili Imamat institution during electioneering.  

ChitralToday tried to contact Mr Afzal, who received the JUI candidate, to know if the visit was planned and in accordance with the policy of the Imamat institutions to keep away from politics, but his phone was found switched off.

Social media users criticized the Tariqa Board representatives for allowing the visit to the office at a time when elections were nearing. They said the politician should have been received by the local people at a private place as the Imamat institution was not meant for such a gathering.

They said receiving the candidate at the Tariqa Board office by Ismaili representatives gave a very wrong impression that it was a pre-planned political visit.

The JUI candidate has been criticized for using money in his election campaign in Chitral. He has been seen distributing cash among voters in different areas of the constituency.

Two weeks back, the Election Commission of Pakistan also summoned him to Islamabad after a video showing him distributing cash among a group of people in Chitral went viral on social media.

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