ISLAMABAD: Islamabad authorities, following directions from the federal government, have imposed a seven day ban on some leaders of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, including Jamaatud Dawa’s (JuD) Hafiz Saeed, Ahle Sunnat wal Jamat (ASWJ) chief Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and General Secretary Dr Khadim Hussain Dhillon from entering the capital.
Express News reported on Saturday that the ban has been imposed with a view to stop the leaders from attending DPC’s February 20 gathering, to stage a sit in front of parliament house, hence obstructing the public gathering.
According to sources, the leaders could be arrested if they entered Islamabad.
Meanwhile the traders community of Aabpara Market has also appealed to the DPC from staging a rally in Aabpara market.
Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik had earlier suspended the Station House Officer (SHO) Margalla after the police failed to stop the three leaders from making an appearance at a Milad-un-Nabi gathering.
Following the imposition of the ban by the federal government on the DPC members, a spokesperson of the ASWJ while speaking to The Express Tribune called it a ‘shameful act’.
The ASWJ further claimed that they will contest the imposition of the ban, imposed under the Maintenance of Public Order, in courts.
Reacting to the ban, Maulana Ludhianvi said that this decision had been taken by the government only to appease the American government.
The ASWJ spokesperson said that Islamabad administration as well as Capital police had informed them of the ban and that this was being enforced after they received written orders from the Ministry of Interior.
Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said that the government would not allow banned organisations to stage sit-in in Islamabad under the cover of DPC, adding that strict action would be taken if DPC tried to violate the law. Though, those groups who are not banned, would be allowed to protest.
Earlier this week, the US State Department had issued a brief press release, raising concerns about Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed’s public appearances, including at the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) rally held in Karachi.
The release further stated that the UN resolution “calls for all countries to freeze assets of sanctioned groups, prevent the transfer of arms to them, and prevent sanctioned individuals from entering or transiting their territories.”