LAHORE: The Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ), a reorganised version of the banned militant outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), has lashed out at Interior Minister Rehman Malik after he made comments on the SSP’s involvement in the murder of former minister for minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti.
The ASWJ has gone so far as to claim that the organisation will go to court over the allegations.
ASWJ Central Deputy Secretary Allama Masoodur Rehman Usmani and Islamabad Patron Chief Maulana Abdul Razaq Haidri said in a joint statement that the interior minister had continuously blamed their organisation to hide the government’s failure in resolving the Bhatti murder case.
As a result, the ASWJ has decided to approach the court, they claimed in the statement.
The leaders further stated that the interior minister had made these allegations in order to make ‘Muslims and Christians fight with each other’. They added that if the minister had any proof then he should bring them before the court and ‘face our challenge’.
They added that their party had no terrorist links whatsoever.
The statements taken exception to were made by the interior minister on Sunday when was speaking to the media at a function organised in connection with Christmas celebrations.
Malik said the late Bhatti had been receiving threats from the Taliban as well as the SSP and other organisations. He then stated that the
investigation into the murder had revealed that Bhatti had been killed by members of the SSP.
Malik further informed the media that the two people involved in the crime were not in the country and that Interpol has issued red warrants for their extradition on the Pakistani government’s request.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2011.