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Pakistan Sunni Tehreek is a radical Pakistani Barelvi militant organization. The organization was founded by Muhammad Saleem Qadri in 1990 in order to prevent Barelvi mosques from being seized by Deobandi organizations. Members of the movement have been targeted in anti-terror operations by the Pakistani government.
The Islamist group is known for its strong support of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws, and for its hardline support of the death penalty for those accused of committing blasphemy. Sunni Tehreek is vocal in its support of Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard who murdered Punjab's governor Salman Taseer after Taseer called for reform of blasphemy laws. Supporters of the organization assaulted the popular former pop-star Junaid Jamshed, and called for his prosecution under the blasphemy laws.
After the fragmenting and decline of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek arose as the primary opposition to the Deobandi Banuri Mosque, headed by Nizamuddin Shamzai. The Pakistan Sunni Tehreek strongly opposed the giving of important religious posts to Deobandis. Its branch in Lahore publicly declared its opposition to the appointment of a Deobandi cleric as khateeb of Badshahi Mosque, and other similar appointments.
In May 2001, sectarian riots broke out after Sunni Tehreek leader Saleem Qadri was assassinated by Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, an anti-Shiite Deobandi militant group. His successor, Abbas Qadri, charged President Pervez Musharraf's regime with "patronising terrorists" and "standing between us and the murderers."
In April 2007, alleged Sunni Tehreek members opened gunfire on an Ahl al-Hadith mosque in Karachi. One worshiper was killed in the attack. After the attack, Western analysts described the movement as a radicalization of traditional beliefs in the Indian subcontinent.
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- [sacw] SACW Dispatch | 9 Sept. 00
- South Asia Monitor >
- Staff report (11 April 2007). "One dead as ST tries to take control of Ahle Hadith mosque". Daily Times. Retrieved 2 December 2011.[dead link]