Sunni Tehreek

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Sunni Tehreek
سنی تحریک
LeadersSarwat Ejaz Qadri (PST Faction)
Ahmed Bilal Qadri (ST Faction)
FounderMuhammad Saleem Qadri
Founded1990 (1990)
Political positionFar-right[citation needed]
ReligionSunni Islam (specifically majority, Barelvi)
Colors  Green
FactionsPakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST)
Sunni Tehreek (ST)
Election symbol
Table Lamp (PST Faction)[1]
Clock (ST Faction)[1]
Official Website

Sunni Tehreek is a Pakistani Barlevi organization. The organization was founded by Muhammad Saleem Qadri in 1990 in order to prevent Barelevi mosques from being seized by Deobandi and Wahabi organizations. [2] It also sees itself as a defender of Barelvis from attacks from Deobandis and Wahabi Muslims.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] Supporters of the organization assaulted the popular former pop-star Junaid Jamshed, and called for his prosecution under the blasphemy laws.[6]


After the fragmenting and decline of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek arose as the primary opposition to the Deobandi-Wahabi 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.[7]

Split into PST and ST[edit]

Due to internal disputes, Sunni Tehreek later splits up into two main factions.[8] Sarwat Ejaz Qadri,[9] one of its main leader formed a much larger faction which was later named as Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST) [10] while Ahmed Bilal Qadri (son of ST's founder Saleem Qadri) formed his own faction and his faction adapted its same old name.[11][12]


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 and terrorist group. His successor, Abbas Qadri, charged President Asif Ali Zardari with "patronising terrorists" and "standing between us and the murderers."[13]

In April 2007, alleged Sunni Tehreek members opened gunfire on an Ahl-i Hadith mosque in Karachi. One worshiper was killed in the attack.[14] After the attack, Western analysts described the movement as a radicalization of traditional beliefs in the Indian subcontinent.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Pakistan Election 2018: List of Political Parties and their Symbols for General Election 2018". THe News. Pakistan. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Karachi suicide blasts have Al-Qaida links". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
  3. ^ Yusuf, Huma (July 2012). "Sectarian violence: Pakistan's greatest security threat?" (PDF). Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Ditching the tag of mysticism, Barelvi militancy rears head in form of Sunni Tehreek". Geo TV. 2 April 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Sunni Tehreek demands police charge Shaan Taseer with blasphemy". Pakistan Today. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Who is Junaid Jamshed? Pakistan singer feared dead in plane crash". Coventry Telegraph. 7 December 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  7. ^ [sacw] SACW Dispatch | 9 Sept. 00
  8. ^ "Ditching the tag of mysticism, Barelvi militancy rears head in form of Sunni Tehreek". The News International. 2 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Sarwat Ejaz Qadri | President Sunni Tehreek". Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Sunni Tehreek is now a political party". Pakistan Today. 2 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Sunni Tehreek chief taken into custody". The Express Tribune. 19 February 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  12. ^ "ECP - Election Commission of Pakistan". Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  13. ^ South Asia Monitor >
  14. ^ Staff report (11 April 2007). "One dead as ST tries to take control of Ahle Hadith mosque". Daily Times. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011.

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