Sunni Tehreek is a political Islamic organization founded in Pakistan in 1990 to promote the interests of Barelvi Sunni Muslims in conflicts against competing Deobandi and Wahhabi sects.
Sunni Tehreek was formed in Karachi in 1992 under the leadership of Muhammad Saleem Qadri. Because of its aggressive stance on the refugee population in the city,[clarification needed] it was met with opposition by the Muhajir-aligned Muttahida Qaumi Movement which delayed the spread of ST's influence for some time. During this period some[who?] of the central leaders of the ST, such as Saleem Qadri, Abbas Qadri, Akram Qadri and Dr. Qadeer were assassinated.
After the fragmenting and decline of the MQM, Sunni Tehreek arose as the primary opposition to the Deobandi Banuri Mosque, headed by Nizamuddin Shamzai. The 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.
On Feb. 28, 2009, Muhammad Sarwat Ejaz Qadri, Sunni Tehreek chief announced the formation of Pakistan Inqilabi Tehreek, the political wing of the party, at Nishtar Park as part of the Janisran -e- Mustafah conference. He said the party would continue its struggle for Muslims and Pakistan. He also criticized the forcible implementation of militants interpretation of shariah in Pakistan's Swat province, whilst at the same time voiced clear condemnation of all terrorist activities which were perpetrated under the name of Islam and vowed to support the Pakistani cause for stability. He heavily criticized the Deobandi Jihadi leaders, accusing them of being sponsored by Indian Intelligence agencies as well as involvement in terrorist activities.
In May 2001, sectarian riots broke out after Sunni Tehreek leader Saleem Qadri was assassinated by the Sipah Sahaba Pakistan(SSP), a Deoband-affiliated terror 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.
Sunni Tehreek participated in General Elections of 2002 & 2008 and also in Local bodies' election of 2005. In 2002 Elections, the party was able to get 3% of votes casted from Karachi. Sunni Tehreek boycotted elections of 2008, alleging that they don't have an equal opportunity and can't run election campaign peacefully.