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ISLAMABAD, Nov 22: Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ) chief Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi has been in Islamabad for the last a couple of days on the request of the government to handle the security situation after the Ashura violence in Rawalpindi.

The government has also sought his help in holding peace talks with Taliban, it has been learnt.

Sources in the police and the capital administration told Dawn that the ASWJ chief had been staying in Sector I-8/3 and Karachi Company for the last one week.

The I-8/3 sector is one of the most vigilance-mounted areas of the city as some of the houses are being used for the accommodation of intelligence and security personnel.

According to the sources, police commandos were deployed at the house where Maulana Ludhianvi was staying.

Besides, the ASWJ activists were also keeping a watch on passersby and the neighbours.

Officials from different police stations, including Ramna and Aabpara, were guarding the house and patrolling the area, the sources added.

A senior police officer, when contacted, told Dawn that there was no restriction on the movement of Ludhianvi in Islamabad.

He denied that police security was being provided to him.

However, the sources said Maulana Ludhianvi had been brought to the city and was being facilitated by the government departments, including the police and the capital territory administration, to get his support in maintaining peace.

“He has good links with the local ulema, religious personalities and the administrations of seminaries,” officials in the police and capital administration told Dawn on the condition of anonymity.

They said the maulana was requested to help the government in making Friday’s protest peaceful.

There are 305 seminaries in the capital city in which over 29,000 students are studying.

The officials said Maulana Ludhianvi used his influence and links in the local seminaries and got assurances from their administrations that they would remain peaceful during the protest. They said some officials also met the ASWJ chief in the I-8 house on a number of occasions to discuss the issue regarding negotiations with Taliban.

When contacted, Maulana Ludhianvi confirmed that he had arrived in Islamabad on the request of the government officials to maintain peace in the twin cities.

“The officials sought my cooperation to maintain peace in the country,” he added.

About the help sought by the government in the negotiation with the Taliban, he said: “If the government seeks our help and give us the responsibility we will try to fulfil it.”

However, he said after the killing of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakeemullah Mehsud in a drone attack, it had become difficult to negotiate with the Taliban.