LAHORE: A review board of the Lahore High Court (LHC), on Friday, extended the detention of Malik Ishaq and Ghulam Rasool Shah, former leaders of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, for one more month, describing their release as a threat to peace.
The board, comprising Justices Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Manzoor Ahmed Malik and Sheikh Ahmed Farooq, announced the order after hearing the detained men in in-camera proceedings.
Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalnagar DPOs produced Ishaq and Shah. They were brought to the court in an armoured vehicle.
Both the DPOs requested the court to extend the detention as their release could result in a law and order ‘situation’. They said when Ishaq was released on bail he started objectionable activities. The Rahim Yar Khan DPO said that although Ishaq’s name was on a ‘watch list’ under the Fourth Schedule of the anti terrorism law. As such he was required to keep law enforcement agencies informed about his movement, he did not do so.
He said it was necessary to extend his detention for a month each.
Ishaq said that he had been released on bail after spending 14 years in jail. He said the Punjab government, had issued his detention order without any incriminating material against him. He said if he had to be kept in detention; the authorities could restrain him to his house.
Shah submitted that he was a student of LLB (part one) and a legal advisor to Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (the new name of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi). He said he had no role in any objectionable activities.
After the hearing, the court issued an order extending the detention of the two men.
Ishaq, accused in 44 cases involving 70 killings, has been acquitted in 34 cases and granted bail in 10.
He was released from Kot Lakhpat jail on July 14, 2011 after 14 years of imprisonment when the Supreme Court (SC) granted him bail in the case involving a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
The Punjab government approached the SC for cancellation of bail but the plea was dismissed.
Ishaq was then detained in Rahim Yar Khan jail for 10 days under the Maintenance of Public Order Act. The detention was extended for 60 days on October 25.
Shah, described by police as a close aide of Malik Ishaq, involved in the attack on Shiites in Ali Pur, Muzaffargarh.
According to the Punjab Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1960, the Home Department can detain a person for three months if they could create a law and order situation if released. According to Section 5 of the ordinance, no person can be detained for a period exceeding three months unless a judicial board has reviewed the case and concluded that there is sufficient cause for such detention to continue.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2011.