Islamabad - The Islamabad district administration has banned the entry of 15 Ulema (religious scholars) in the federal capital while 12 others have been barred from delivering speeches/sermons at any public place within Islamabad for a period of two months.

The decision has been taken by District Magistrate (Deputy Commissioner) Islamabad, Capt (Retd) Mushtaq Ahmed in the interest of public safety and public order. Earlier, AIG Special Branch police had reported that these ‘sectarian agitators, firebrand speakers’ are likely to indulge in sectarian activities through provocative speeches and sermons.

According to the copy of the order, the AIG had feared that their (Ulema’s) behaviour could be prejudice to the maintenance of public peace and order and recommended banning entry of 15 and barring 12 others from delivering sermons for a period of two months from the date of issuance of the order. The deputy commissioner believed that any breakdown of law and order due to sectarian violence may be used by terrorists as an opportunity to achieve their objectives.

The Deoband Ulema whose entry has been banned in ICT include; Hafiz Muhammad Siddique (Wah Cantt, Taxila, Rawalpindi), Allama Tahir Ashrafi (President Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat Punjab, Lahore), Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Ghumman (Sargodha), Muhammad Muaviah Azam (Vice-President Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat Punjab), Maulana Abdul Majeed Nadeem (Khateeb Masjid Al Furqania, Rawalpindi), Maulana Abdul Khalique Rehmani (ex-President Sipah-e-Sihaba Kabeerwala, Punjab), Maulana Masood ur Rehman Usmani (Deputy Secretary General Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat Pakistan), Dr Khadim Hussain Dhiloon (Secretary General Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Jahanian, Pakistan), Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi (central leader Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Karachi). The Shia Ulema include; Allama Ghazanfar Taunsavi (Bahawalpur), Allama Jaafer Jatoi (Lahore), Allama Muzaffar Hussain Najfi (Khateeb Imambargah Hussain, D-Block, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi), Zakir Syed Maqbool Hassan (Chakwal), Syed Iftikhar Hassan Naqvi (Mianwali), and Maulana Muhammad Iqbal (Chichawatni). These Ulema shall not enter, reside or remain in the revenue limits of district Islamabad for a period of two months.

According to the memorandum of grounds given by the district magistrate for banning their entry as per reports from AIG ICT, these Ulema are in the habit of making inflammatory/objectionable and fiery speeches on sectarian issues that will create ill-will and hatred between various sects. Their entry has been banned under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 5 of the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960.

Twelve other Ulema shall not deliver speeches/sermons at any public place, religious gathering within revenue limits of district Islamabad in the interest of public safety and public order for a period of two months from the date of issuance of the order. They have been barred from delivering speeches/sermons by the district magistrate under Section 5 (i) (d) of the Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960.

Deoband Ulema who have been barred from sermons include; Maulana Abdur Razzaq Haideri (Khateeb Masjid Abdullah Bin Masood, G-9 Markaz Islamabad), Qari Ihsanullah (Khateeb Masjid Qasimia, F-8/3 Islamabad), Maulana Nazir Ahmad Farooqi (Khateeb Masjid Khulfa-i-Rashideen G-9/2 Islamabad), Maulana Abdul Aziz (Khateeb Lal Masjid G-6, Islamabad), Maulana Abdur Rehman Muaviah (Secretary Geenral Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal-Jamaat Rahmani Masjid, Aabpara). Shia ulema include; Sheikh Mohsin Ali Najfi (Principal Jamia Ahl-e-Bait), Sheikh Agha Shifa Najfi (Khateeb Jamia Imam Sadiq G-9/2, Islamabad), Allama Basharat Imami (Khateeb Jamia Masjid Khadija-tul-Qubra, Tarlai Kalan), Allama Ameen Shaheedi (Deputy Secretary General MUM Pakistan) and Allama Nasir Abbas Jafri (Secretary General MUM Pakistan). Brelvi sect ulema include: Maulana Dr. Zafar Iqbal Jalali (Chairman Ittehad Ali/Khateeb Noor-e-Madina, I-8/4 Islamabad), Maulana Liaqat Ali Rizvi (Sunni Tehreek Masjid Barma Town, Islamabad).

According to the local police, as many as 10,000 personnel of Islamabad police and Pakistan Rangers would perform security duties during Muharram-ul-Haraam. They will maintain high vigilance to thwart any unpleasant incident. Islamabad police have finalized comprehensive security arrangements for the processions, religious gatherings during the holy month.

Activities of people being put under surveillance following Fourth Schedule will be strictly monitored. Similarly, those scholars or persons from defunct organizations banned to enter Islamabad would not be allowed at any cost to participate in kind of activity.

The SSP has directed all SDPOs and SHOs to launch effective search operation as well as combing in the slum areas of the city including Afghan habitats and enhance vigilance at all entrance points of the city.

A total of 909 religious gatherings (Majalis) and 177 processions (159 traditional and 18 licensed) will be held. The religious gatherings have been divided into three categories as per security aspect. Some 122 Majalis have been placed in category A, 492 in category B and 295 in category C while 14 processions have been put in category A, 91 in category B and 72 in category C.

Rangers will also assist Islamabad police to ensure elaborate security arrangements. The SSP also ordered all SHOs to make proper light arrangements after negotiations with concerned authorities and also to weed out bushes in the vicinity of worship places.

The IGP asked SSP (traffic) to ensure arrangements for avoiding any inconvenience to road users. Walkthrough gates will be installed at all entry and exit points of Majalis. All station house officers will get complete bio data of the volunteers performing security duties.