|Ideology||Anti-Shi'ism, Deobandi fundamentalism|
|Motive(s)||Extermination of the Shia community in Pakistan|
|Leaders||Haq Nawaz Jhangvi †|
Isar-ul-Haq Qasmi †
Azam Tariq †
Ali Sher Haidri †
Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi
|Area of operations||Pakistan|
|Designated as a terrorist organisation by|
| United Kingdom (in 2001)|
United States (in April 2005)
Pakistan (multiple times including its clones)
|Part of a series on|
Darul Uloom Deoband, India
|Ideology and influences|
|Founders and key figures|
|Centres (markaz) of Tabligh|
Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP — Guardians of the Prophet's Companions), renamed to Millat-e-Islamia and now known as Ahle Shia Jamaat, is a Deobandi Muslim organisation in Pakistan, which also functioned as a political party. It broke away from the main Deobandi Sunni organisation Jamiatul Ulema-e-Islam in 1985. Established in Jhang by Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, The organisation was banned by President Pervez Musharraf in 2002 as a terrorist organisation under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. In March 2012, the government of Pakistan banned Sipah-e-Sahaba again. The government of the United Kingdom banned the group earlier in 2001.
Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan was formed in 1985 by Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, Zia-ur-Rehman Farooqi, Isar-ul-Haq Qasmi and Azam Tariq in 1985 originally as Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba in Jhang, Pakistan. The original purpose was to fight Shi'ite landlords dominance in Jhang and surrounding areas in a majority Sunni population. Later, they became violent and started to attack Shi'ite Muslims. From 1980s, they are involved in various terrorist activities and murder of thousands of Shi'ites. They are operating all over Pakistan and are politically active having large vote bank in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). They are widely organized and have more than five hundred offices throughout country.
In 2002, Pervez Musharraf government declared the group as terrorist organization and was banned. However, later, they renamed it and launched it under the name of Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan. They were again banned in 2003. After the death of Azam Tariq , Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi was selected as the president.
When Jhangvi was assassinated in 1990 by presumed Shi'a militants, Zia-ur Rehman Farooqi assumed leadership of the group. Zia-ur-Rehman 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 also killed in an attack widely attributed to the militant Shi'a organization Sipah-e-Muhammad, along with four others.
Its leader (sarparast-aala) Ali Sher Haideri was killed in an ambush in 2009. Then Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi was selected as sarparast-e-aala while Allama Auranzaib Farooqi as the president of the organization.
As of 2005, the organization boasts 500 offices and branches in all 34 districts of Punjab. It also has approximately 100,000 registered workers in Pakistan and 17 branches in foreign countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Canada and the United Kingdom.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2010)
- In 1996 elements within the Sipah-e-Sahaba who did not believe the organisation 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 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 organisation."
- 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 and that many of the Taliban's foot soldiers are from Sipah-e-Sahaba ranks.
- According to Animesh Roul, Ahle-Sunnat-Wal-Jamat is a front group for SSP, and is also banned in Pakistan.
- B. Raman, "Musharraf's Ban: An Analysis", South Asia Analysis Group, Paper no. 395, 18 January 2002
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