Pakistan News/Islamabad: The Ministry of Interior has added the name of “Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat” (ASWJ) in the banned list of organizations due to suspected involvement in terrorism activities, E Pakistan News reported on Sunday.
According to source adds: The organisation was previously operating as Sipaha-e-Sihaba Pakistan (SSP) that was banned during General (r) Pervez Musharraf regime in 2002 for the same reasons.
Though no official word came from the interior ministry on the issue, however, the ministry sources unofficially confirmed a BBC report that ASWJ and three other groups Shia TalbaTanzeem, People’s Amman Committee and TNA Gilgit had been banned in Pakistan.
They said the ministry has already issued a notification on February 15 and the copies of it had been forwarded to all the provinces and relevant departments.
ASWJ had been to the first schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 through that notification, thereby barring it from operating in the country.
Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) has twice banned the entry of ASWJ President Ahmed Ali Ludhianvi and Malik Ishaq in the capital in the last couple of months when they had to address public rallies there.
A federal state minister and National Assembly member from district Jhang, an SSP stronghold, Sheikh Waqas Akram on the floor of the house had severely criticized the performance of the interior ministry and the Interior Minister Rehman Malik for allowing the free movement and participation of the activists of banned outfits in the public rallies of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (Council for Pakistan Defence).
ASWJ President Ahmed Ali Ludhianvi, talking to The Nation, strongly reacted to the ban imposition and said that the decision had been made under the influence of US dictation and the organisation would challenge it in the court.
Spokesman of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Yahya Mujahid said that instead of taking a unilateral decision, the government should have gone to the courts to prove allegations, if any, against ASWJ. He said that it was wrong to ban any party without solid proof.
He said that the nation would not accept ban on any component party or organisation of DPC.
The interior ministry’s list of proscribed organisations, excluding ASWJ is as under:
(1) Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ);
(2) Sepha-e-Muhammad Pakistan;
(5) Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan;
(6) Tehreek-e-Jaafria Pakistan;
(7) Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM);
(10) Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan (ex-SSP);
(11) Khuddam-ul Islam (ex-JM);
(12) Islami Tehreek Pakistan (ex-TJP);
(13) Jamiatul Ansar;
(14) Jamiatul Furqan;
(15) Hizbul Tehrir;
(16) Khairun Naas International Trust;
(17) Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA);
(18) Islamic Students Movement of Pakistan;
(20) Ansarul Islam;
(21) Haji Namdar Group;
(22) Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP);
(23) Balochistan Republican Army (BRA);
(24) Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF);
(25) Lashkar-e-Balochistan (LeB);
(26) Balochistan Liberation United Front (BLUF);
(27) Balochistan Musalla Defah Tanzeem (BMDT);
(28) Shia Tulaba Action Committee, Gilgit;
(29) Markaz Sabeel Organisation, Gilgit;
(30) Tanzeem Naujawanan-e-Sunnat (TNA), Gilgit;
(31) Peoples Aman Committee (Lyari), Karachi.
Staff Reporter adds from Lahore: Mainstream religious and religio-political parties have condemned ban on Alhe Sunnat Wal Jamat, saying it was an attempt to weaken and politically harass Difa-e-Pakistan Council.
The parties believe that the decision was taken on the US pressure without any moral or legal justification.