Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan

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Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan
سپاہ صحابہ
Flag of Sipah-e-Sahaba.jpg
IdeologyAnti-Shi'ism, Deobandi fundamentalism
Motive(s)Extermination of the Shia community in Pakistan
LeadersHaq Nawaz Jhangvi 
Isar-ul-Haq Qasmi 
Azam Tariq 
Ali Sher Haidri 
Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi
Aurangzaib Farooqi
Area of operationsPakistan
AlliesTehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan
Opponent(s) Pakistan
Designated as a terrorist organisation by
 United Kingdom (in 2001)
 United States (in April 2005)
 Pakistan (multiple times including its clones)

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.[1][2] In March 2012, the government of Pakistan banned Sipah-e-Sahaba again.[3][4] The government of the United Kingdom banned the group earlier in 2001.[5]

On 26 June 2018, before Election 2018 Govt Pakistan lifted ban on Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan.[6][7][8]


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.[4][9][10] The original purpose was to fight Shi'ite landlords dominance in Jhang and surrounding areas in a majority Sunni population.[9] Later, they became violent and started to attack Shi'ite Muslims.[9] 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).[9] They are widely organized and have more than five hundred offices throughout country.[9]

In 1996, many left the group and formed another organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).[9]

In 2002, Pervez Musharraf government declared the group as terrorist organization and was banned.[9] However, later, they renamed it and launched it under the name of Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan.[9] They were again banned in 2003.[9] After the death of Azam Tariq , Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi was selected as the president.

A leader of Sipah-e-Sahaba was a minister in the coalition Government in Punjab in 1993 and the group has held seats in the Pakistan National Assembly.[2][4]

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.[4] 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.[2][4]

Its leader (sarparast-aala) Ali Sher Haideri was killed in an ambush in 2009.[11] Then Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi was selected as sarparast-e-aala while Allama Auranzaib Farooqi as the president of the organization.[12][13]


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.[2]


  • In 1996 elements within the Sipah-e-Sahaba who did not believe the organisation violent enough left to form the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.[4]
  • 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."[4] A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable described it as another Sipah-e-Sahaba breakaway Deobandi organisation."[14]
  • 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.[14]
  • According to Animesh Roul, Ahle-Sunnat-Wal-Jamat is a front group for SSP, and is also banned in Pakistan.[15]


  1. ^ B. Raman, "Musharraf's Ban: An Analysis", South Asia Analysis Group, Paper no. 395, 18 January 2002
  2. ^ a b c d "Pakistan: The Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP), including its activities and status (January 2003 – July 2005)". Refworld. Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. 26 July 2005. PAK100060.E. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  3. ^ Hasan, Syed Shoaib (2012-03-09). "Pakistan bans Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat Islamist group". BBC News. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan". SATP. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Police probe Scottish mosque figures' links to banned sectarian group". BBC News Online. 31 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Govt lifts ban on ASWJ, unfreezes assets of its chief Ahmed Ludhianvi". The Express Tribune. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Pakistan removes ASWJ leader Ahmed Ludhianvi from terrorist watchlist". Samaa TV. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Pakistan removes radical Sunni leader Maulana Ludhianvi from terrorist watchlist ahead of election". Hindustan Times. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) -". Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  10. ^ Sohail Mahmood (1995). Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan, Egypt and Iran. Vanguard. p. 434. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Leader of banned Pakistan militant group shot dead". Reuters. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  12. ^ "ASWJ local leader killed in Rawalpindi, central leader attacked in Karachi".
  13. ^ Kalbe Ali; Munawer Azeem (29 March 2017). "Ludhianvi hopeful of ASWJ's 'unbanning'". DAWN. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  14. ^ a b "2009: Southern Punjab extremism battle between haves and have-nots". DAWN. 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  15. ^ Roul, Animesh (June 26, 2015). "Growing Islamic State Influence in Pakistan Fuels Sectarian Violence". Terrorism Monitor. 13 (13). Retrieved 30 June 2015.