The interior ministry on Thursday issued a notification announcing a ban on the “militant wing” of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).
The proscription of Ansar-ul-Islam, which the ministry referred to as a "private militia/Razakar Force" of the JUI-F, comes days before the Maulana Fazlur Rehman-led party is slated to lead an anti-government 'Azadi March'.
According to the notification, the federal government had "reasons to believe that Ansar-ul-Islam is capable of functioning as a military organisation, in violation of the prohibition contained in Article 256 of the Constitution".
The ban was imposed after approval by the federal government and obtaining the consent from all four provincial governments under Article 146(1) of the Constitution, which allows the federal government to delegate any of its powers to the provinces, conditionally or unconditionally, with the consent of the provincial governments.
Through the notification, the federal government through the Ministry of Interior has "entrust[ed] the provincial governments the power to take appropriate actions under Section 2 of the Private Military Organisations (Abolition and Prohibition) Act, 1974, against Ansar-ul-Islam".
The authority will include, among others, "the power to abolish/ban the said organisation and take further steps against them on ground" in order to complete the action, the notice said.