Islamabad-The Islamabad High Court yesterday rejected a petition challenging a notification of Islamabad administration imposing ban on the entry of 16 clerics into the federal capital.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi conducted hearing of a petition moved by Isna Ashari Trust challenging the ban on the entry of 16 Ulema into the capital city and dismissed it by maintaining the ban on the clerics.

The ban was imposed on the clerics including Hafiz Muhammad Saddique, Allama Tahir Ashrafi, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Ghuman, Maulana Muhammad Muaviah Azam, Maulana Abdul Khaliq Rehmani, Dr Khadim Hussain Dhalloo and Mulana Aurangzeb Farooqi of Deouband sect.

The clerics of Brelivi sect include Maulana Muhammad Yousaf Rizvi, Pir Irfan Al Mashahdi, Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Dr Asif Ashraf Jalali while clerics of Shia sect include Allama Ghazanfar Tunsavi, Allama Jaffar Jatoi, Zakir Syed Maqbool Hussain, Hafiz Tassadaq Hussain and Maulana Muhammad Iqbal.

Earlier, a notification issued from the office of the district magistrate stating that the entry of 16 Ulema belonging to other districts was banned in the capital for two months. The firebrand speakers were likely to indulge in sectarian activities, deliver provocative speeches and sermons aiming at creating hatred between different sects.

“In the current security environment coupled with threat perception of terrorism, it is apprehended that any breakdown of law and order due to sectarian violence may be used by terrorists as an opportunity to achieve their objectives,” the notification added. Seven of the Ulema were from the Deobandi school of thought, five were Shias and four belong to Barelvi sect.