ISLAMABAD    -   Ahead of the planned anti-government protest of opposition parties, the federal government is mulling over taking action against Ansarul Islam Force, the sister organisation of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), especially trained for the security of “Azadi March.”

The Ministry of Interior has forwarded a summary to the federal cabinet seeking permission to take action against Ansarul Islam Force and other such organisations under the National Action Plan (NAP) against Counter Terrorism.

Some days back, a video was uploaded on the social media showing the force, wearing khaki shalwar kameez and carrying black and white coloured batons, marching in Peshawar while JUI-F chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman was seen examining the passing-out parade.

JUI-F chief had earlier announced that his announced long march would enter Islamabad on October 31 and stay there. The other opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party and Awami National Party (ANP) have announced to join the protest that seeks resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and fresh elections.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan addressing a press conference in Islamabad confirmed that a summary had been moved by the ministry but added that it was not specific for the Ansarul Islam Force. “There is no exclusive strategy about the force in the summary as it suggests action against all those private militias, and private groups or organisations that are involved in (violent) activities,” she said adding that it suggests that action should be taken against them under the NAP. She said that cabinet would decide on the document containing recommendations of the Ministry of Interior under law and constitution.

Firdous further said that provincial governments had prepared their separate strategies to take action against the private armed groups. “The government and other state institutions are agreed that some private militias would not be allowed to hold the people of Pakistan hostage in their hands, she said. She added that Ansarul Islam Force was “testing its muscles within their boundaries by uploading the footage but when it will move out to hold the people hostage, the government will take action.”

The government admits and supports that protest is the legal, constitutional and basic right of every citizen, the PM’s assistant admitted. “Tell me when doctors, farmers and even media persons protest, they need some private militia to protect themselves while holding batons,” she said and alleged that this armed group was being used to create chaos in the country.