Pak minister meets banned groups over fear they’ll join Imran Khan’s protest

Pakistan’s interior minister Nisar Ali Khan has met chiefs of two banned groups, including one declared as terrorist by the US, amid fears that the outfits might join Imran Khan’s protest march next week seeking the ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over graft allegations.

Khan, who heads Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has threatened to impose a girdle lock on the capital Islamabad on November 2.

Maulana Samiul Haq, also known as godfather of Taliban, had announced that his Difsh-e-Pakistan Council (DCC) would also join the protest, creating panic in the government.

He accused that government was targeting religious seminaries in the country.

Haq along with a delegation met Nisar on Friday.

His delegation among others included Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi of banned Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ) and Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil of banned Harkat-ul Mujahideen (HuM).

After HuM was banned, Khalil set up Ansar-ul Umma outfit.

The ASWJ was successor of banned anti-Shiite Sipah-e-Sehaba Pakistan (SSP) but it was also banned some years back.

The delegation leaders were angry as the government had announced to cancel the national identity cards of those listed in the Fourth Schedule, which makes it impossible to carry out any business activity in the country or get passport.

The meeting took place a day after a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker indirectly accused Maulana Samiul Haq of planning to send students of his seminary to help the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Islamabad’s lockdown, in return for the grant received from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

The security situation of the country also came under discussion during the meeting. Members of the delegation assured the interior minister that they would always be in the forefront on any issue that related to Islam and Pakistan.

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