You might have spotted an army of men in mustard uniforms storming into the Red Zone wielding sticks and carrying JUIF flags as Maulana Fazlur Rehman gives a sit-in call outside the Supreme Court on Monday.
They are known as Ansarul Islam or a sub-organisation of the JUI-F. Their slogan is: “The leadership’s safety is our top priority.”
Ansarul Islam was established at the same time when the JUI was formed. In the constitution of the JUI-Fazl ur Rehman, there is a formal department called Ansarul Islam, whose job is only to maintain law and order. It works under the supervision of the party.
It performs security duties at meetings, gatherings, and conferences organised by the party. But the number of volunteers on duty can vary depending on the scale of the gatherings.
According to JUI-F Khyber Pakhtunkhwa spokesman Abdul Jalil, whenever a gathering or event is organised with more than 1,000 participants, up to 200 volunteers are called in. They are deputed to guard the event. “If there is a large gathering, then 100 to 200 volunteers are called from each district, separate groups are deployed on the stage, and leaders and participants are in the rally.”
The organisation consists of students of madressahs, which operate under the banner of the JUI’s faction led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman. It has two wings. One is often seen in a khaki-colored shalwar kameez or uniform and the other wears civil dress.
The spokesman revealed that the new uniform was adopted after the amendment to the party’s constitution.
“In the early days, volunteers used to perform their duties in militia dress, but after the constitutional amendment, the same volunteers worked in white uniforms, and later it was changed to khaki or mustard.”
Jalil said that the total number of volunteers of Ansarul Islam goes up to 40,000 and they are “not allowed” to carry any kind of weapon.
“All volunteers in this organisation provide security to party rallies without any charge and also ensure the security of their leaders and leaders,” Jalil added.
According to Article 26 of the Constitution of JUI, every Muslim who fasts and prays, diligent and courageous youth who is a member of the party can become a worker of Ansarul Islam.
Regarding the ranking in organisation, the spokesperson said that according to the classification, there is a central leader, followed by a leader at the provincial, divisional, and district levels.
One can join the organisation only after receiving “special training”.
An intelligence wing has also been established in this organisation, which is named after “Hazrat Huzaifa bin Yaman, who was one of the companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)”.
Intelligence wing workers keep an eye on suspicious people or activities around rallies and events, while they also keep a watch on the police so that they cannot arrest any leader of their organisation.
At the same time, in emergencies, the intelligence wing plans for leaders to exit safely and ensure their safety.
The volunteers are deployed in large numbers around parking lots, entrances, and stages. They also meet with the local police and administration to prepare a security plan before any rally or protest.
It is to be noted that for their appointment, the organization provides duty cards to its volunteers with their names and place of duty so that no untoward incident takes place.
They are allowed to shake hands with the top leadership, but the volunteers are instructed not to do so.
In November 2019, the federal government banned Ansarul Islam.