After the split and decline in the MQM ranks, it has arisen as an opposite pole to the Deobandi headquarters of Banuri Mosque headed by Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai with direct links to the jehad and its two leaders, Mullah Umar in Afghanistan and Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman of the JUI in Pakistan. The Sunni Tehreek has shown aggression in its protest against the giving of important religious posts to Deobandis. Its branch in Lahore has become quite outspoken and has publicly declared its opposition to the appointment of a Deobandi cleric as khateeb of Badshahi Mosque and other similar appointments..
In the Late 1990s Sunni Tehreek was established by Maulana Saleem Qadri to secure the rights of Sunnis which were on stake at the hands of so called Davebandi, Wahabi Jihadis extremists who belive in killings of innocent people in suicide bombings as Jihaad. He was martyred with his 5 Companions on 18 May 2001 in Karachi. After that Mualana Abbas qadri took the great task. But he tto along 3 other top leaders was martyred in a suicide blast in a Milad sharif rally at Nishtar Park at April 11, 2006. The party is working hard remaining peaceful and we are hopeful that state driven aggressions will not pull it back.
Experts believe that the bombers targeted Abbas Qadri, Amir or supreme leader of the Sunni Tehreek, a Barelwi organisation fighting since 1992 to regain mosques which it claims were usurped by the sect's opponents. Sunni Tehreek leaders claim to have seized at least 62 Deobandi and Salafi mosques between 1992 and 2002 in ways that have on occasion sparked violence.
In May 2001, murderous sectarian riots broke out after Sunni Tehreek leader Saleem Qadri was assassinated by the Sipah Sahaba Pakistan(SSP), a Deoband-affiliated terrorist group. His successor, Abbas Qadri, charged President Pervez Musharraf's regime with "patronising terrorists" and "standing between us and the murderers.
When the SSP’s Karachi finance secretary was arrested after the murder of Sunni Tehreek chief Saleem Qadri , he revealed that his organisation received 32 lakh rupees a year from Karachi for the purposes of posting bail, assisting its imprisoned activists and the families of deceased activists. This entire amount was reportedly kept as “amanat” (safe custody) with one Maulvi Saadur Rehman, head of a religious school in Karachi and the withdrawals were made through written messages.
Politically, while the Urdu-speaking Indian Muslim migrants to Pakistan from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh support the MQM, the Gujarati speaking migrants (Bohras and Memons) support the Sunni Tehrik with funds. The migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh came from a poor or middle class background---landless labourers, petty traders, money-lenders, bureaucrats--- but the migrants from Gujarat came from a rich background (businessmen). It is said that Karachi's economy is largely controlled by the Memons and other Gujarati-speaking Muslims. They give more funds to the Sunni Tehreek than to the MQM.