Karachi: In a major political development, the Sindh government has banned a peace group associated with the Pakistan's ruling party, the PPP.

The Peoples Aman (Peace) Committee was recognised as an unofficial wing of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

A news channel reported that in the ministry of home affairs in the southern province of Sindh had issued a notification announcing a ban on the committee which has been strongly supported and backed by the former Sindh home and senior minister, Zulfiqar Mirza.

Mirza whose resignation from the provincial assembly was accepted by the Speaker, Nisar Khuro and who has also resigned from his position of vice president of the PPP resigned as minister and from the assembly in late August after the law enforcement agencies launched a clean up operation in the gang infested Lyari area which is the stronghold of the Aman committee.

Mirza who returned from abroad on Monday had again given inflammatory statements in the media against the Mutthaida Qaumi Movement and declared the Aman Committee as clean of all criminal activities.

The MQM which is the single largest party in Pakistan's financial hub has constantly termed the Aman Committee as a group of criminals backed by the former home minister that is responsible for the violence and bloodshed and extortion rackets in Karachi.

Political analysts said the decision by the home ministry in the province which is ruled by the PPP in coalition with the MQM and other smaller parties to ban the Aman Committee is a clear indication that President Asif Zardari has now blanked out Mirza and values the support and cooperation of the MQM more than his former minister and party official.

Mirza in his recent statements has declared the MQM as a terrorist party and strongly defended the activities of the Aman Committee which he has described as a true representative of the people of Lyari.

Lyari always a traditional stronghold of the PPP has been badly hit by turf wars between different criminal gangs in recent years and unofficially the Aman Committee was seen as a group involved in criminal activities.

The home ministry in its notification said that the Aman Committee could no longer take part any sort of activities whether political or charitable.

"Evidence has been found by the law enforcement agencies that the Aman Committee is involved in criminal activities," the ministry notification said.

"Clearly the decision to ban the Aman Committee by the government is a clear indication that the ruling party has now decided to break all ranks with Mirza and outcast him as a political entity," one analyst said.

Mirza since his resignation has been projecting himself as a saviour and true representative of the Lyari population and demanding that the MQM be declared a terrorist organisation.

Significantly the ban on the Aman Committee came hours after the law enforcement agencies had raided sector offices of the MQM in different parts of the city.

(Agencies)