Pakistan bans ASWJ, a front for Sipah-e-Sahaba

Pakistan government has quietly banned the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, a front organisation for the proscribed Sipah-e-Sahaba.

Islamabad: The Pakistan government has
quietly banned the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), a front
organisation for the proscribed Sipah-e-Sahaba, according to a
media report on Saturday.

The Interior Ministry issued a notification two weeks ago
to ban the ASWJ.

The notification stated that the ASWJ was suspected to be
involved in terrorism-related activities linked to the
Sipah-e-Sahaba, BBC Urdu reported.

The new notification, which has so far not been made
public, was issued under Schedule 1 of the Anti-Terrorism Act,
which lists all banned organisations.

According to the notification, authorities in all four
provinces have been alerted to the change in status for ASWJ.

There was no official word on the development.

ASWJ chief Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi, who was recently
barred from entering Islamabad due to concerns that he could
foment sectarian unrest, said he was not aware of the ban.

He said if such a ban had been put in place, his group
would challenge it in court.

He claimed his group respected the law and imposing a ban
on it was "akin to imposing a ban on Pakistan".

The ASWJ is part of the Defa-e-Pakistan Council, a
conglomerate of militant and hardline groups that was cobbled
together last year by Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad

The UN Security Council declared the JuD a front for the
Lashkar-e-Taiba after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.