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ISLAMABAD: An activist of a banned religious outfit put under the watch list of the police under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 has disappeared from his residence in the capital’s rural area.

Qari Ansar Iqbal, a resident of Naiabadi in Bhara Kahu, was included in the Fourth Schedule of the ATA under which he had to inform the local police before leaving the city and upon his return, officials in the police on the condition of anonymity told Dawn on Saturday.

When the police came to know that Qari Ansar had disappeared from his house a couple of months ago, a manhunt was launched. Later, it emerged that he was doing a business in Rawalpindi along with his brothers, one of them an official of the Islamabad police.

But another brother of the suspect, identified as Mohammad Asghar, told the police that Qari Ansar had left for central Punjab a couple of months ago. It was also revealed that the suspect had been moving around different parts of Punjab, especially central Punjab. The police officials said his arrival in a city of Punjab 10 days ago had also been confirmed.

They said a police team had been sent to the city to bring him back to the capital. On the complaint of additional station house officer (SHO) Ghulam Mustafa, an FIR was registered with the Bhara Kahu police on September 18 against Qari Ansar for leaving the capital without informing the police and disappearing.

A senior police officer told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that it was yet to be ascertained why the suspect had been moving in different parts of Punjab.

The suspect was in the Fourth Schedule for the last one decade in connection with his affiliation with the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan. Though the suspect claimed that he had left the outfit, there were reports that he was still active and working for the banned outfit, the officer added.

He said Qari Ansar had to submit a surety bond to the police every year stating that he would avoid spreading sectarian hatred through his speeches or other acts. Besides, he cannot participate in the activities of the banned outfit, the officer said. Under the surety bond, he also agreed to visit the area police station on a regular basis to show his presence in his residence.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2015

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