Lax Enforcement: Hizb ut-Tahrir free to preach its message

Published: June 23, 2011
The banned organisation appears to be free to distribute its propaganda material and promote its events.

The banned organisation appears to be free to distribute its propaganda material and promote its events.


Despite five military officers being detained and questioned for their links to the organisation, the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir appears to be free to distribute its propaganda material and promote its events, including at mosques just yards away from the police headquarters in Lahore and prominent locations in the federal capital.

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s objective is to overthrow the current Pakistani government and establish a worldwide caliphate that encompasses all Muslim-majority countries. While the organisation claims to be non-violent, it has often been accused of aiding and abetting acts of terrorism.

On Tuesday, the Pakistan Army confirmed that they had detained Brigadier Ali Khan, who served at the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, for his alleged links to the organisation. On Wednesday, reports emerged of four more military officers being detained for their ties to Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Yet the organisation seems to face no difficulty in disseminating its message to the public through posters, seminars, literature and even rallies. Hizb ut-Tahrir displayed hundreds of banners across the country in order to promote its nationwide “caliphate” rally on November 5, 2010. They have organised protests in front of the Lahore Press Club and even in parts of Islamabad.

Few cases have ever been registered against members of the organisation for participating in the activities of a banned group and the very few that do get reported are rarely ever prosecuted, with most Hizb ut-Tahrir members being released after a few days of detention and questioning.

Among the places that Hizb ut-Tahrir activists have been seen distributing their group’s materials are in front of the Masjid-e-Shuhda on Mall Road, Lahore, just yards away from the Punjab Assembly, the chief minister’s house and the Lahore police headquarters.

Hizb ut-Tahrir activists have been able to regularly distribute their press releases and pictures of the group’s events to virtually all major news organisations in Pakistan.

The group’s website is also still accessible in Pakistan and does not appear to have been blocked by the National Responses Centre of the Federal Investigation Agency.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (47)

  • Mirza
    Jun 23, 2011 - 8:15AM

    When would people rise against these terrorists. A terrorist has no religion, and must not be supported just because they call themselves Muslims. No other foreign power has killed more Pakistanis than these home grown terrorists. How many more deaths of innocent civilians would it take for people to recognize their true enemies? Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jun 23, 2011 - 8:46AM

    Hizbul-Tahirir, must be a friendly, peaceful militant group.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Jun 23, 2011 - 8:52AM

    So? What is wrong if they are propagating their message? Execuse me? Talking for Caliphate and Islam is not a crime! Atleast they are giving a practical alternative system to Pakistan… what good has democracy brought to this country?Recommend

  • Timothy
    Jun 23, 2011 - 9:14AM

    This is a clear case of hypocracy on part of our Government. All such organizations must be treated as enemies of state and then must be given similar response by our ‘men at a their best’.Recommend

  • Yasir
    Jun 23, 2011 - 9:27AM

    It is said, freedom is for those who can pay its price. Hizb faced more than 400 terrorism cases, (with no single conviction- obviously, after all demonstration is not terrorism) and still several cases going on. So its not the case the govt is not suppressing, but Hizb is sincere and paying the price for the betterment of Ummah. Recommend

  • azhar
    Jun 23, 2011 - 9:28AM

    i was wondering what the caliphate will be….shia, sunni, barelvi or deobandi?Recommend

  • D. Powers
    Jun 23, 2011 - 9:49AM

    I am not sure why this organization has been banned but one thing is for sure that they are openly distributing their material outside almost all Mosques in Islamabad. They have educated young men in their ranks and are highly funded, gauging from the quality of their material. In Pakistan, implementation of law is always patchy. We see the likes of Hafiz Saeed and other such characters openly moving around and busy in their work. This needs to stop or such people will infiltrate all sensitive organizations, and I am afraid that has started to happen. Recommend

  • faraz
    Jun 23, 2011 - 9:53AM

    The idea of caliphate is so laughable that even Britian hasn’t banned HTRecommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 9:55AM

    @ Mirza

    How could you conclude from the above article that they are terrorists? I read the Brigadier’s profile and, as said by BBC, he was one of the best officers in army. He was due to be promoted but wasn’t because he raised his voice in front of Musharraf. Is that terrorism? And we still don’t know if the Brigadier has ties with them or not.

    Article says that they are accused, not convicted. How can we convict them when they call themselves peaceful and denounce terrorism and also that they were banned by Musharraf (we all know about his vendetta against people). If they are terrorists, then why aren’t they banned in US and UK?Recommend

  • Shafique
    Jun 23, 2011 - 10:21AM

    so they are terrorists? distribute literature, seminars, press releases, websites etc..

    where are the bombs n suciders, guns , n blasts etc…

    i am now confused about this group….. is it really a terrorist group ??Recommend

  • Pan Mat
    Jun 23, 2011 - 10:46AM


    Their is no crime in expressing one’s opinion but there are boundaries of expression of speech. The mandate of HuT is to overthrow democratically elected government of Pakistan and impose a religious agenda as a mandat even on non-Muslim minorities.

    If you have pan-Islamic view, it is quite likely you will see democracy as an inconvenience.Recommend

  • Maha
    Jun 23, 2011 - 10:57AM

    reason HT is not convicted is cos Pakistan is a muslim country and they are calling for Islam…just cos calls for islam are labelled terrorist, does not mean its true. the Prophet SAW was called a magician of words, but that was a lie! take a informed look at groups and people before making rash statements!Recommend

  • Roni
    Jun 23, 2011 - 11:00AM

    no body likes hypocrisy, no body likes corrupt regime, no body likes violence. HT only give understanding to all people by seminars, distributing leaflets, discussion argumentatively without doing violence acts,peaceful. please compare with what US AND ITS ALLIES doing!, they impose democracy to be implemented in islamic lands by killing people,destroying infrastructure; hospitals,schools,housing,markets,mosque, thousands of people were died!, who is extremes? who does violence? who should be punished?Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 11:04AM

    I totally agree with the efforts of this group. Hizb ut-Tahrir has shown that it won’t enter the corrupt parliment to reform the corrupt system of Pakistan instead work outside to create public opinion for Islamic State and seek support from the sincere elements in the Army to establish Khilafat. Their policy is neither bullet or ballot. The same method which Rasul(saw) used to create first Islamic State. For more information on Hizb ut-Tahrir please visit their website http://www.hizb-pakistan.comRecommend

  • Atif
    Jun 23, 2011 - 11:16AM

    I am amazed of writer, Hizb-ur-Tahrir is calling for same thing which Muslims have fixed inside their Aqeedah i.e., Caliphate (Recall first four Caliphs). So if they should ban for it then it is like banning Islamic Aqeedah’s preaching in Pakistan. I am amazed liberals talk about liberty for non-muslim faith but wants Islamic faith’s corner stone to be banned out.

    Next, liberals should not be “anti-Islam”, right! So where is the freedom of expression now, at least stick to your own grounds guys. Why acting so lame?

    Besides, politics is absolute right of every individual, and its absolute right to call, read “call” for a change, now where is the good book of ethics with whom you differ (specially politics rooted from Islam).

    Moreover, when did liberal turn to take dictations from the state (without an argument), i.e., this group must be cornered because dictator Musharraf said it so, come on guys come up with something sensible enough instead of vomiting out what you can’t stand on rational grounds.

    Why is that I keep on seeing lame and irrational words from opposing wing? Please show some class or is that you have only naive people among your ranks.Recommend

  • Saleem
    Jun 23, 2011 - 11:19AM

    Dear all
    The constitution of Pakistan states (see below………) therefore decide by yourself where this organization stands

    6. High treason.
    [4A][(1) Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.]
    (2) Any person aiding or abetting [4B][or collaborating] the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.
    [4C][(2A) An act of high treason mentioned in clause (1) or clause (2) shall not be validated by any court including the Supreme Court and a High Court.]
    (3) [5] [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] shall by law provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of high treason. Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 23, 2011 - 11:22AM

    Lucifer was also the most knowledgeable and dependable angle, so much so that he was their head. However, with only one act of disobedience he was branded as devil forever.
    All soldiers are supposed to follow the orders and uphold the constitution. If they cannot take the heat get out of the kitchen. They have only one responsibility and follow the oath they have taken when joining the military. They are not paid all that money to preach. If they are preaching while on the job, that money is haram.
    It is ironic that how the US laws and Western media became authentic for you when it comes to the advantage of extremists. These organizations change names and reappear every other day. How can USA ban all such organizations in the world? According to your argument, the organizations which are banned by the US are terrorists, at least we agree on something?

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 12:04PM

    Ask anyone who is bad mouthing this organization to quote one incident of this organization involved in any illegal activities they wont be able to tell.

    If USAid backed newspapers can publish propaganda so can this political group.Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 12:05PM

    @Pan Mat:
    It is ok if fascist US doest it, but not ok when other people do it.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Jun 23, 2011 - 12:20PM

    The reality is that Seculars have lost the argument and they do not have any courage to face the rational arguments put forth by HT. Only because of its strength of ideas, HT was banned by Musharaf …. Why democracy is made so much holy that it cannot be questioned or challenged? What good it has delivered to Pakistan except looting, corruption, scandals, wars?And in the end it is a system made by man, imposed by a minority elite… No one wants it.

    Caliphate is not a system invented by HT, it is the system which was given to Messenger of Allah (saw) from Allah (swt). Majority of the Muslim world from educated to un-educated wants the Islamic Khilafah and total submission to Islam.

    Please spare us from American slavery and this dirty system! Bring back Islam, Bring back Khilafah.Recommend

  • Fauzia Haider
    Jun 23, 2011 - 12:30PM

    This is a very organized International organization with a lot of thinkers and professionals as its members. It’s aim is establishment of an Islamic Caliphate. I read about this organization for the first time in a book, “The Islamist” by Ed Hussain. It was his personal story of becoming a part of this organization and how these people recruit abroad among the universities and how they train to spread their message and argue their point of view. He went into these kind of organizations deep but then didn’t like what he saw and some of their extreme views and left the organization. It is his personal account of life In Hizb e Tahrir and other Islamist organizations in UK and abroad. It is very informative and a good read……Recommend

  • Yasir
    Jun 23, 2011 - 12:50PM

    From all the discussion above, it is clear that the Hizb ut-Tahrir;
    1) Not a terrorist.
    2) Rightly calls for Khilafah.
    3) Secularist have absolutely no answer to their narrative and thats why they just try to avoid discussion.
    4) Bracket everything Islamic to be a reson for the problem for Pakistan , which in fact they themselves are.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Jun 23, 2011 - 1:01PM

    There are factual inaccuracies in this article and whoever responsible in the newsdesk should make amends and publish corrections. Please note below

    1.Hizb ul tahrir is an international Islamic political party who works in over 40 countries. Its focus is the Muslim world where it want to establish the Islamic Caliphate by establishing Islamic rule first in one country and then unifying the other Muslim countries on that idea

    2.The method party uses is purely political & intellectual in a peaceful manner

    3.It has not been banned in any country where the rule of law is respected. As such there has not been a single case of violence associated with this organization

    4.It was banned in Pakistan for doing political opposition to then dictator Musharraf

    5.Hizb rejects violence as a mean for change and hence saying “Hizb ut-Tahrir calls for jihad against the West” is incorrect

    6.It works in the west to counter the attack on Islam and not to establish Islamic state in the western worldRecommend

  • redsnapper
    Jun 23, 2011 - 1:17PM

    I am surprised at some of the naive comments appearing here. How can infiltrating an army to overthrow its leadership as well as the government be considered benign?

    I can bet most people supporting Hizbul Tehrir also love conspiracy theories. How about another one: Can one say that this organization is funded by foreign agencies to bring chaos in the country and then capture its nuclear arms?Recommend

  • Muhammad Junaid Akhter Dar
    Jun 23, 2011 - 1:56PM


    Do you really think anyone bother in this country about our beloved Constitution? If so then there are lots of other major issues which must be handled before this.Recommend

  • AAC
    Jun 23, 2011 - 2:04PM

    @Pan Mat:
    As far as your mention of “overthrowing the democratically elected government” is concerned, you are reminded that they are just talking of doing it. And what about the institution which has practically done this more than three times?Recommend

  • Rock
    Jun 23, 2011 - 2:06PM

    whatever system which this group advocates isn’t it aginst the constitution of pakistan? which believes in democracy.. Are you guys wanna go against democracy just because of corrupt leaders? And which system will replace the current structure? Just don’t go by theory think practically.. Simple anwer we don’t destroy our house because of dust instead we clean it everyday.. Isn’t it? Recommend

  • D. Powers
    Jun 23, 2011 - 2:12PM

    @azhar: “i was wondering what the caliphate will be….shia, sunni, barelvi or deobandi?” What was the sect of the Prophet or the four Caliphs after him??Recommend

  • AAC
    Jun 23, 2011 - 2:18PM

    What do you want it to be? We’ll try our level best to arrange the same for you.Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 2:50PM


    Do you mean to say that we cannot have people in our military who can question their superiors? We all know whatever happening inside our country is wrong, then why do we question the ones who are trying to raise the voice for us. I have heard many people saying that why doesn’t army react to what happened in Abbotabad. This is the reason we don’t see anyone speaking up coz the one who speaks is silenced either by hook or by crook. Did you know it was the anger of that Brigadier on Abbotabad issue that compelled him to question army’s decision which led to his abduction? Where are your so-called principles of liberty and freedom of speech? Where? If calling for self-reliance and moving away from American is treason then mind you I am the biggest traitor.

    My brother! we are not here to win the argument. I just want to know one thing, do you have any evidence that HT ever changed its name?Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 23, 2011 - 2:51PM

    @ Saleem

    4 dictators ran through your so called constitution with their big boots and everyone supported them, now u cann’t even touch musharaf who was the latest….. so there goes ur constitution….

    as far as calling army is concerned…. we know every single politician has come to power through a general… be it bhutto’s or sharif’s or maulana’s and now imran khan…..
    the fact is any change not in line with policies of generals can never be sustained… so in order to bring real change … change the generals through lower ranks. thats what HT says which is slightly unique for other political parties =)Recommend

  • Waqqas
    Jun 23, 2011 - 4:26PM

    HT is a political party which proposes the solutions to the problems we face in its own way–much like any other political party.. they believe that the only system that can guarantee performance is the system of caliphate, the founding stones of which are equality and justice. Is it it bad? but yes, it IS, because it doesn’t sound secular..! Bravo!Recommend

  • kazi jawed akhter
    Jun 23, 2011 - 4:30PM

    What is Hezb tehrir.(hezb means party and tehrir means freedom ) It is like the arabic translation of freedom party of perhaps Bhagat Singh.Which sect will dominate if Brig Ali Khans hezb tewhrir succeeds in forming a government.What will happen to rest of the sects.Recommend

  • aisha
    Jun 23, 2011 - 4:32PM

    nizam given by ALLAH(SWT) is lauhgable to u?????????????????

    and people working for it are terrorist ????
    …well Allah(swt) has promised these terrorists victory insaAllah ..these agents can’t stop it……….MAN PLANS AND ALLAH PLANS AND ALAAH(SWT) IS THE BEST OF PLANNERS!!Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 4:40PM

    They just label them as terrorists since they can discuss. Recommend

  • Nasir Jamal
    Jun 23, 2011 - 4:41PM

    Most of the people get confused with the word “Tehrir”. They consider that the organization has got something to do with the preaching through writing. The word “Tehrir” means freedom and liberation. They have been working actively under the cloak of peaceful propagations to overthrow legitimate governments in Muslim countries.

    Organizations like Hizbut Tehrir manage to get sympathy from the masses because of their ignorance of Islamic knowledge. They prey upon the sentiments of the people and lead the unsuspecting adherent to work for overthrowing the government. Fortunately Hizbut Tehrir has failed miserably in its attempts in some of the countries.

    General Zia introduced Islamic religiosity in the army. Some of the people in army have taken upon themselves the responsibility for the entire Muslim world which is not correct. Pakistan should first of all think about itself.Recommend

  • Imran K
    Jun 23, 2011 - 4:47PM

    HT might have very well educated people attending their mass brain washing sessions, but that is a reaction to a system that doesn’t provide justice……there are many Muslim states doing just fine. Also you can never be sure of why there is so much funding for them, a lot of British born Pakistani origin guys are coming here and working for HT, maybe they are a part of a plan that they don’t know about instead of the Plan that they think they are sure of.Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 5:10PM


    Great, when one don’t find the valid argument then divert the topic towards another issue……. By the way when you call for democracy during dictatorship then is also dangerous to the status quo, so……….. I think you got my pointRecommend

  • AnisAqeel
    Jun 23, 2011 - 5:53PM

    Or may be Ahmadi, they already got one!!!Recommend

  • AD
    Jun 23, 2011 - 6:40PM

    As many have pointed out, it is not a crime to call for a caliphate and and the abolition of this government. It is what free speech is about. These ideas exist out there, some more supported than others, and as long as they do not lead to violence, we can only fight a battle of ideas.

    The attitude represented by this article is worrying for we seem to lurch from one extreme to another. Yes, ban violent organisations, but do not snatch from us our right to speech nonviolently and freely.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Jun 23, 2011 - 10:54PM

    Why HT do not join Ahmadis they already have a non violent KhalifaRecommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 23, 2011 - 11:55PM

    Thanks for keeping it civil. Civil liberties are the most important and should be defended. However, when one takes the oath in military, they are agree to abide by the army rules and not civilian. Otherwise there would be political party flags in army bases and offices. This gentleman should have resigned in protest (he would still get all the benefits and perks including housing and healthcare) before raising his voice. Politicizing the army while still drawing all benefits is only following Mush’s sunnah, and not right. A man of character would have walked out after resignation with his head held high. Then have a press conference and give the truth.

    I never meant that this particular party changed name. Many religious parties have changed names after being declared illegal by one country or the other. That is why it is not easy or important to trace them all and keep updated. That is what I was trying to say. Regards,

  • Imran Changezi
    Jun 24, 2011 - 12:05AM

    An oath upon kuffar is no oath at all.Companions of Prophet peace be upon him were politicians as well as cannot take politics and soldiership apart.As prophet peace be upn him said that,” A person who dont care for affairs of ummah(Politics) is not one of us” so any oath that goes against teaching of prophet is false.This is not a secular army,it is a Muslim army who love Islam.Recommend

  • humza
    Jun 24, 2011 - 12:08AM

    There is nothing wrong in freedom of speech and promotion of ideas as long as it is not voilent. So far, whatever has been read about Brigadier I have not found him being voilent. So lets wait for the results of inquiry. If he is proved innocent (while being nonvoilent and abiding state policy), then I must appreciate his character and courage that he openly gave his point of view to everyone even in army. He may be right or wrong but he had a character to speak even at the cost of his career.
    I again say if he was nonvoilent and abiding state policy, then he should not be charged for any crime rather should be given an opportunity to debate his point of view; either to change his perceptions or convince othersRecommend

  • Jun 24, 2011 - 9:27AM


    As far as my information is concerned and that too from the secular media is that he never went public with his views, he was always discussing his views with army superiors. He never went out of the line and started a protest against the army i.e. politicizing the issue. And it is so unfortunate that a person put all his whole illustrious career and his life at stake only to raise the voice of truth and you call him following the sunnah of Mush…..

    Brother let me ask you one thing, when Musharraf, in the capacity of Chief of Army Staff, orders Kayani to negotiate NRO with Benazir on his behalf then he still remains apolitical, Does he?

    And whatever I know about this party is that we should never generalize them with other religious parties. I guess they’ve never entered the system as per their manifesto during their whole struggle and have always faced the oppressive regimes across the globe and still their objective is the same…..Recommend

  • Farhan Ahmed
    Jun 24, 2011 - 7:05PM

    Thumbs up!Recommend

  • sarah
    Jul 20, 2011 - 8:19PM

    why are you guys feeling annoyed with HT? are you sure HT will successfully implement their ideas by only spreading their opinion? I m sure that wrong ideas will not win. You only need to worry if you disagree with the right opinionRecommend

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