Authorities in Islamabad have barred 12 firebrand clerics from making speeches during the month of Muharram with 14 others not allowed to enter the federal capital for a two-month period for inciting sectarian strife.
The orders issued by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) district magistrate, stating that the 26 clerics who have been banned were “sectarian agitators, firebrand speakers and likely to indulge in sectarian activities”.
The Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) took the decision in view of the past record that include former Lal Masjid’s Abdul Aziz, Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen’s (MWM) Ameen Shaheedi and Nasir Abbas Jafri, as well as, Tehreek-e-Labaik chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, and several other Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) leaders.
Moreover, ASWJ’s Abdul Rehman Muaviah, Masjid Qasmia F-8/3 khateeb Qari Ahsanullah; and Abndul Razzaq Haidri, who is khateeb of Masjid Abdullah Bin Masood in G-9 Markaz are all banned.
Similarly, MWM General Secretary Nasir Abbas Jafri and MWM leader Ameen Shaheedi’s names are also on the list.
Two other Shia clerics included in the list are Agha Shifa Najfi of Masjid Imam Al-Sadiq G-9, and Sheikh Mohsin Ali Najfi, who is principal of Jamia Ahle Bait in F-7/4.
Clerics from the Barelvi school of thought who have been barred from addressing crowds include Zafar Iqbal Jalali, Imtiaz Hussain Kazmi and Liaqat Rizvi.
Allama Muhammad Younis Qureshi, khateeb of Masjid Al-Furqan G-9/4 from the Ahle Hadith sect is also barred from addressing crowds.
At least 14 other firebrand clerics have been banned from entering the capital during Muharram.
These include ASWJ’s Aurangzeb Farooqi as well as Tahir Ashraf; Muhammad Ilyas Ghumman of Sargodha; Hafiz Muhammad Saddique of Wah Cantt; and Abdul Khaliq Rehmani of Kabeerwala.
Barelvi sect’s Khadim Hussain Rizvi; Muhammad Yousuf Rizvi alias Toka; Pir Irfan Al-Mashadi; and Dr Asif Ashraf Jalali have also been barred from entering the revenue limits of ICT for two months.
Shia clerics banned from entering the capital include Syed Zakir Mqbool Hassan of Chakwal; Hafiz Tasaddaq Hussain from Lahore; Allama Muhammad Iqbal from Chichawatni; Allama Ghazanfar Tunsavi from Bahawalpur; and Allama Jaffar Jatoi from Lahore.
“The above named ulemas shall not enter, reside or remain in the revenue limits of District Islamabad for a period of two months from the date of issue of this order,” the magistrate’s order said for the latter 14 clerics,” the order states.
Citing the report by the police special branch, it said the clerics banned from entering the capital were “in the habit of making inflammatory/objectionable and fiery speeches on sectarian issues”.
The orders, issued under the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1960, said the clerics placed under ban were likely to deliver provocative and sectarian speeches which could create animosity and hatred between various religious sects and disturb public peace and order.
“In the current security environment of ICT coupled with threat perception of terrorism, it is apprehended that any break out of law and order due to sectarian violence may be used by terrorists as an opportunity to achieve their objectives,” the order reads.