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Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat welcomed amendments

15 January, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: The Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) on Wednesday 14,January,2015 welcomed amendments in the military act that allowed the establishment of military courts.

This has raised many eyebrows, because religio-political parties – such as the Jamaat-i-Islami and the JUI-F – had earlier condemned the 21st amendment for the use of the terms ‘religious terrorism’ and ‘sectarian terrorism’.

“We expect that military courts would definitely provide justice, which normal courts have not provided,” ASWJ chief Ahmed Ludhianvi told a press conference at the Rehmania Masjid in Aabpara.

He even called on both the government and the army to act as a mediator to end what he called the ‘Shia–Sunni rift’ in the country.

However, Ludhianvi warned that 21st constitutional amendment should not be misused against any particular segment of society.

“The discrimination between religious and non-religious terrorists should be abolished,” he said.

“There are around half a dozen cases related to murder, hate speech, terrorism and other heinous crimes against him and he is the head of a banned organisation that openly consorts with hardened militants,” said politician Sheikh Waqqas Akram, who is Ludhianvi’s main political rival in his home constituency of Jhang.

“The Sipah-i-Sahaba (SSP) is seeking ways to patch things up with the military establishment,” he said. The ASWJ is a reincarnation of the SSP, which was banned in 2002.

On Wednesday 4,January,2015, the ASWJ chief also condemned the Peshawar incident, calling it a national tragedy.

“Keeping quiet over the brutal killing of innocent children is a greater crime,” Ludhianvi said, adding that “ASWJ has always condemned terrorism”.

He welcomed the display of national unity in the wake of the tragedy, but warned that certain elements may seek to break this accord.

“Being a major religious party, it is our responsibility to maintain this unity,” he added, but declined to specify who he was referring to.

The ASWJ leader did hint that certain people including members of civil society wanted to create differences between religious parties, madressahs and the army. “This is a conspiracy and we will not allow any such conspiracy to succeed,” the ASWJ leader said.

“We [also] want the army and the government to play their role to end sectarian killings in the country,” he announced, adding that the army chief and the prime minister were acceptable to the party as mediators in this matter.

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