Jamaat may face internal strife over selecting secretary general

Salman Tareque Sakil
Published : 00:00, Nov 22, 2019 | Updated : 00:21, Nov 22, 2019

(L-R) Mia Golam Parwar, Rafiqul Islam Khan, Maulana ATM Masum, Hamidur Rahman Azad and Dr  Syed Abdullah Muhammad TaherA critical situation has arisen within Jamaat as to who will become the next secretary-general. The main reason for this is that names of five leaders from the executive council are being discussed for the said post.
Jamaat leaders say that, usually, as per the organogram of the party, the amir of the party selects one person with approval from the central shura. The amir finalizes a decision after discussion with the party central executive committee.
In the past, one person used to be nominated from among the secretaries-general, but this time, the complication is attributed to the new amir, Dr Shafiqur Rahman.
Several policymaking leaders of the party say that the party’s central election commission declared the name of secretary-general Dr. Shafiqur Rahman as Jamaat’s new amir, which triggered the debate about who will become the next amir.
An influential Naebe Amir, said: “There is a new amir in the organisation and the situation is critical. No one apart from the secretary-general is allowed to talk on party matters.”
The party has three assistant secretaries-general at the moment: Moulana ATM Masum, Rafiqul Islam Khan and Hamidur Rahman Azad.
Dr Shafiqur Rahman is believed to be in favour of ATM Masum as his secretary-general. Masum is currently the chief election commissioner of the party.
Former Amir of Dhaka city committee, Rafiqul Islam Khan, is eager for the post of secretary. Reportedly, leaders from Rajshahi zone and Dhaka city south support him.
The names of naebe Amir, Mia Golam Parwar, executive committee member Hamidur Rahman and Dr. Syed Abdullah Taher have also come up.
An observer of Jamaat’s politics says: “There is no unity in the party as to who will be nominated; the new amir Shafiqur Rahman is leaning towards ATM Masum who does not enjoy popularity in the party. He served as naebe Amir of Dhaka in the past.”
Another party insider adds: “Shafiqur Rahman will want a politically savvy secretary-general. Since the secretary-general handles much of the work,, Shafiqur Rahman will have to be careful.”
Other contenders are Mia Golam Parwar, Hamidur Rahman Azad and Dr Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher. A party insider says that if Azad becomes secretary-general then several leaders will resign from the party.
A party high up feels that if Mia Golam Parwar leaves the post of naebe Amir and wants to become secretary-general. It will be positive for Shafiqur Rahman.
His political and organizational skills will facilitate Jamaat in implementing its political strategy.
Political observer Shah Abdul Hannan, says: “The main power in Jamaat is with the Amir and the secretary-general follows his instructions; the Amir is directly elected while secretary-general is nominated by the amir. For this, the Amir has to take approval from shura.”
Former party secretary Shah Abdul Hannan, adds: “The Amir has been elected and now, he will appoint the secretary-general; but he will have to take approval from the shura; if the shura opposes his nomination, it can suggest another name.”
Party sources say that to appoint secretary-general, the new amir, Dr Shafiqur Rahman, will talk to party executive council and there may be a difference of opinion.
It’s believed there are two GROUPS: one for Dr Shafiqur Rahman and the other for Rafiqul Islam.
Though no one wanted to comment on the matter. Jamaat’s chief election commissioner, Moulana ATM Masum, adds: “My duties involve election-related matters but this is not within my jurisdiction; the issue is delineated in the party organigram.”
Shah Abdul Hannan observes: “In Jamaat, there is no lobbying and showing special interest in any issue is seen as a political faux pas.”