Darul Uloom Deoband, India
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Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan is Pakistani Deobandi organization, and a former political party, established in the early 1980s in Jhang by Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, its stated goal is to primarily deter major Shiite influence in Pakistan in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. The organization was banned by President Pervez Musharraf in 2002 as a terrorist organization under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. In March 2012, the government of Pakistan banned Sipah-e-Sahaba again.
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Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, Zia-ur-Rehman Farooqi, Eesar-ul-Haq Qasmi and Azam Tariq, formed the Sipah-e-Sahaba (also known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi) in 1985 originally under the name of Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba.
When Jhangvi was killed in 1990, Zia-ur Rehman Farooqi assumed leadership of the group. Farooqi died in a bomb explosion on January 19, 1997 at the Lahore Session Court. After his death, Azam Tariq led the group until October 2003, when he was killed along with his gunmen.
Desgination as a terrorist organization
The first ban on the notorious Sipah-e-Sahaba was took place in 1991, as a result of which the named changed from Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba to Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan.
The defunct organisation was renamed as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi after the second ban in 1993.
In January 2002, the notorious Sipah-e-Sahaba (also known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi) was among five groups banned under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. In 2003, the organization was reestablished under the name of Millat-e-Islamia (Deoband) but, was again banned in November of that year.
After the continuous bans, it was again renamed as Tanzeem Nojawanan-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat (Deoband) in 2007.
The notorious Sipah-e-Sahaba currently operates openly under the adopted name of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (Deoband) and again banned by the Pakistani government in 2012.
However, Sunni Muslims of Pakistan deny any relations with this terrorist group and keep condemning its activities in solidarity with their Shiite brethren. Also, Sunni Tehreek has many times protested against the defunct Sipah-e-Sahaba for misusing the name of Sunni Islam in terrorism and suicide attacks against Shiite Muslims.
After the last ban, many of the organisation's activists went underground and allied themselves with other militant groups to carry out attacks across Pakistan.
But security officials in Pakistan and beyond maintain that the groups are one and the same.
They allege that beneath the guise of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Sipah-e-Sahaba has been behind most of the major militants attacks in Pakistan, including the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
|“||"Bhakkar: Provocative announcements from the mosques (governed by the defunct Sipah-e-Sahaba)", Police is helpless and failed." ― Geo News Headline, 20:06 PST, August 23, 2013||”|
The clashes between the local Shiite Muslims and the workers/terrorists of the notorious Sipah-e-Sahaba took place at Bhakkar which is situated in the west of the Punjab, Pakistan. At least 10 Shiite Muslims have been killed and a dozen have been injured after the workers/terrorists of the notorious Sipah-e-Sahaba clashed with the local Shiite Muslims on August 23, 2013.
They were identified as Safdar Shah and Imran Shirazi of Darya Khan and Ali Raza, Khan Muhammad and Kamran Mohana of Kotla Jam townships.
Affected area’s residents rejected the media reports that it was a clash between two religious groups. They warned the media persons to desist from equating peaceful residents with the sectarian and fanatic terrorists. They said it was an armed and provocative attack on peaceful population. They said that self defense was their legal right that they opted for.
The victims’ families and friends have gathered at Hussaini Chowk roundabout of Bhakkar district to protest against the attack on their houses and unarmed people.
After the situation, the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, Shia Ulema Council, Imamia Students Organization condemned the clashes and have declared three days of mourning. Also, the then Chief Minister of the Punjab Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the situation, saying those who had broken the law will be dealt severely following the arrests of the terrorists belonging to the defunct organization.
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- In 1996s elements within the notorious Sipah-e-Sahaba who did not believe the organization violent enough left to form the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
- In October 2000, Masood Azhar, founder of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed, was quoted as saying that "Sipah-e-Sahaba (also known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi) stands shoulder to shoulder with Jaish-e-Muhammad in Jihad." A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable described it as another Sipah-e-Sahaba breakaway Deobandi organization."
- A diplomatic cable, originally dated October 23, 2009 and later leaked to the media, from the U.S. embassy in Islamabad indicated that Qari Hussain, a leading militant of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, had roots in the defunct Sipah-e-Sahaba (also known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi) and that many of the Taliban’s foot soldiers are from Sipah-e-Sahaba ranks.
- B. Raman, "Musharraf's Ban: An Analysis", South Asia Analysis Group , Paper no. 395, 18 January 2002
- "Pakistan: The Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP), including its activities and status", Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, 26 July 2005
- Hasan, Syed Shoaib (2012-03-09). "Pakistan bans Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat Islamist group". BBC News. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
- "Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan".
- Sohail Mahmood (1995). Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan, Egypt and Iran. Vanguard. p. 434. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Pakistan 'extremist' is shot dead, BBC News Online, 17 August 2009
- "2009: Southern Punjab extremism battle between haves and have-nots". Dawn.com (Dawn Media Group). 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2011-05-25.