Banned outfit plans pro-army rallies

Updated July 17, 2015

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The proscribed group, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), also announced to observe the last Friday of Ramazan as the day of solidarity with the armed forces. A rally, ‘Long live Pak Army’ will be held in Karachi on Friday. —AP/File
The proscribed group, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), also announced to observe the last Friday of Ramazan as the day of solidarity with the armed forces. A rally, ‘Long live Pak Army’ will be held in Karachi on Friday. —AP/File

ISLAMABAD: Within seven months after the enactment of the National Action Plan (NAP), a proscribed religious group has announced its decision to hold rallies across the country against all those trying to defame the security establishment.

The proscribed group, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), also announced to observe the last Friday of Ramazan as the day of solidarity with the armed forces. A rally, ‘Long live Pak Army’ will be held in Karachi on Friday.

The ASWJ said the party was with the army and the Rangers against terrorism and lauded the role of the army and the security establishment ‘who are busy in eradicating terrorism from the country.’

Addressing a meeting here on Thursday, the acting president of the group, Sain Ghazi Parial Shah, said the country was facing serious terror threats.

“But it is unfortunate that leaders of political groups are criticising the army and security agencies of our own country.” He said ASWJ was also a victim of terrorism because its leaders and workers lost their lives in targeted killings.

“We have never used derogatory or irresponsible language against the security agencies,” Shah said, adding: “We have even offered to sacrifice millions of youths for the sake of the country and eradicating sectarianism in the country.”

Currently, Mr Shah is heading the ASWJ as its president Aurangzeb Farooqui was arrested by the Punjab police on June 5, 2015.

ASWJ is the reincarnation of Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan which was banned in 2002 on the charges of sectarian terrorism.

The interior minister on several occasions in December 2014 and January 2015 said banned groups had become active again after changing their names and the government would not spare them. Security analysts described the ASWJ decision to hold rallies as a reconciliatory move to divert the attention from them.

“Basically, they want to clear the impression and make up with the establishment as it was done by Maulana Abdul Aziz in January 2015,” said Amir Rana, the director of the Institute of Policy Studies.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2015

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