Ban on ASWJ lifted, Ludhianvi’s assets unfrozen


The government on Wednesday ordered to unfreeze the assets of Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and removed the ban placed on his movement – Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), reported a private media outlet.

According to reports, National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) on Wednesday issued a notification in this regard following the recommendations of Punjab’s home department.

Ludhianvi is the chief of ASWJ – a proscribed sectarian extremist group, formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba – and he became the head of ASWJ after the death of Ali Sher Haidri in a 2009 ambush.

The ASWJ chief, who is also the joint secretary of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), is now allowed to operate his bank accounts which were frozen on the recommendation of the same department earlier.

In a rather shocking development, Ludhianvi is also free to travel abroad following the notification, and he has also been allowed to purchase and carry arms after securing a licence from the competent authority.

His CNIC has been unblocked as well.

According to the media outlet, a high-powered review committee of the Punjab home department occasionally reviews cases of people on the Fourth Schedule and recommends lifting of the ban if it finds the conduct of a person satisfactory.

Interestingly, the decision was made the same day Pakistan had committed to an ambitious 26-point action plan spanning a period of 15 months to avoid being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force.

The plan envisions choking the financing of terrorist groups like Da’ish, Haqqani network, Jamaatud Dawa and its affiliate FIF, LeT, JeM and persons affiliated with the Taliban.