Sunni hardliner declared winner in Pakistan election dispute
Lahore: The head of a group banned by the Pakistani government as a terrorist organisation has won a seat in parliament following an election tribunal`s decision, officials said Thursday.
Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi, who leads the sectarian Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), won an appeal after losing the seat at Jhang in Punjab, Pakistan`s most populous province, during last May`s general election.
The hardline Sunni Muslim ASWJ is widely seen as a front for Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, a group formed in the 1980s and responsible for murdering hundreds of Shiite Muslims whom they consider heretics.
The interior ministry banned ASWJ as a terrorist group in 2012, but it operates freely in Pakistan and its banners are frequently seen at rallies.
Ludhianvi ran on the ticket of the six-party religious alliance Muttahida Deeni Mahaz (United Religious Front), which did not not win a seat in the May 2013 vote.
Shaikh Mohammad Akram of the Pakistan Muslim League-N party, which came to power nationally in the election, won the ballot in Jhang. But the tribunal disqualified him for rigging the vote and defaulting on a loan.
"A tribunal gave its decision yesterday and de-seated the winner Shaikh Mohammad Akram and declared Maulana Ludhianvi the winner, who was the runner up in the election," Mehboob Anwer, election commissioner for Punjab province, told AFP.
Younas Qasmi, a close aide to Ludhianvi, said the workers of his organisation were elated after hearing the decision and distributed sweets in the city to celebrate the victory.
He said Ludhianvi had appealed against Akram because he was a loan defaulter who cannot contest elections under Pakistani laws and had also rigged the election.
Akram told AFP he would challenge the tribunal`s ruling in the Supreme Court.
ASWJ is the political arm of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, one of the most active terror groups in Pakistan and responsible for a string of bloody attacks on Shiites.
There has been a rise in sectarian violence in Pakistan after several deadly clashes between Sunni and Shiite Muslim groups near Islamabad in November last year.
Ahead of last year`s election Ludhianvi said he wanted to be elected so he could spread what he called his "anti-Shiite mission" to a national audience.
Shiites make up around 20 per cent of Pakistan`s population, which is largely Sunni.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- Couple in Bihar asked to pay Rs 50,000 as 'tax' for inter-caste marriage
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- CBSE 12th Result 2015 to be announced on Monday
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Death threat to PM Narendra Modi ahead of Mathura rally sends police into tizzy
- Organisation demands re-examination of AIPMT 2015
- Kejriwal completes 100 days in office, AAP says centre 'shadow boxing' over row with LG
- CBSE Class 12th Board Results 2015 to be announced on Monday, May 25
- Online filing of applications for UPSC civil services exam begins
- No alliance with JD-U in Bihar: BJP
- Not just today, Muslims feeling alienated since 1947: Najma Heptulla
- Preity Zinta missed crew of 'ABCD 2' on 'Nach Baliye 7'
- Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others as Gujjar agitation continues