Jamiatul Ansar’s leader resigns
* Government pressure and illness cited as main reasons
By Mohammad Imran
ISLAMABAD: Chief of the banned militant organisation Jamiatul Ansar (former Herkat-ul-Mujahideen), Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, resigned from the top slot of the organisation because of government pressure and health reasons.
“Khalil submitted his resignation at a meeting of the executive committee of the organisation and asked the committee to elect a new chief,” sources said, adding that Maulana Badar Munir from Karachi had been elected new chief of the organisation.
“The pressure from the government on the militant organisation is one of the major reasons behind Khalil’s resignation,” sources said. They also said that this was the first phase of the government’s new policy to exert pressure on militant organisations in order to dethrone their popular leaders. “Eight months in detention by security agencies took its toll on his health, leaving him unable to run the organisation capably,” sources said.
They said Khalil had been detained in a seven by seven foot cell along with another militant. During the eight months, he was detained in Islamabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi, they added. “Khalil is also suffering from peptic ulcers, which exacerbated during his detention. The detention also affected his memory,” sources said, adding that Khalil had also lost 50 percent of his bodyweight.
“His sight has also weakened as he was kept under powerful all day long,” the sources said.
They observed that security agencies had arrested Khalil on May 20, 2004 from his residence but his detention was disclosed in August after the arrest of Qari Saifullah Akhtar from Dubai.
“The security agencies of the country investigated Khalil over the last eight months on allegations that he was involved in sending militants to Afghanistan,” sources maintained. “The second major allegation on Khalil was that some militants involved in the suicide attempt on President General Pervez Musharraf in Rawalpindi in December 2003 belonged to his organisation,” sources said.