Review board orders Malik Ishaq's release

Published: January 20, 2012

Ishaq, accused in 44 cases involving 70 killings, has been acquitted in 34 cases and granted bail in 10. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

LAHORE: A review board of the Lahore High Court (LHC), on Friday, denied an extension for the detention of Malik Ishaq, former leader of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, for one more month and issued orders for his release.

The Punjab government had requested that the detention, which is ending on January 25, be extended for 30 more days saying that his release would be a threat to peace.

Ishaq’s detention had earlier been extended by the review board on December 16 after the DPOs of Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalnagar had said his release could result in a law and order ‘situation’.

The review board asked the government if they had filed any cases against Ishaq if he was a threat to peace, to which they had nothing to show to the court.

Ishaq had prayed that he had the right to be free according to the constitution if there were no more cases against him as he had been awarded bail in the previous ones.

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.

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.

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.

Reader Comments (46)

  • Saqib
    Jan 20, 2012 - 4:49PM

    Hmm… I like that! You can’t put someone behind bars for nothing…………. bring it to court if you have anything against him……… or just leave him alone…..

    Thats Justice…..!

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  • immi
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:18PM

    @Saqib:
    hmmmm……. that is what the Islamic justice system stands for????

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  • Naqi
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:32PM

    Another blunder and show of weakness of our judiciary. The person is a threat to inter-sectarian harmony.

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  • Ali Wali
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:32PM

    Now Shia community in Pakistan needs to be on their guard.

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  • Jan 20, 2012 - 5:37PM

    @immi:
    So then what Islamic Judicial System states in that case???

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  • sial
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:55PM

    @Naqi
    Not a blunder of our juidiciary, but the Punjab prosecution department. A judge can only decide on the evidence presented to him/her by the state prosecutor. The judge is not ‘all knowing, all seeing’ as the urdu media often suggests.

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  • Mumtaz Rizvi
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:00PM

    Wow what a justice , who proudly cofessed his crime and showed the same will again,has been given another go to suck more innocent blood on the streets of pakistan. what else could be expected from the pro-extremism judiciary and in-human human society. Ashamed of being pakistani , now where are the peoples who held rallies against the raymond davis who killed just two pakistanies , where as this man has confessed killing 70.Recommend

  • Goraya Sb
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:09PM

    I was wondering what for what he was put in jail for 14 long years??????????

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:12PM

    These people have un-constitutional immunity. Nobody can touch them.

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  • Mumtaz Rizvi
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:15PM

    @Colonel:
    to ensure security of every human being irrespective of their faith and condemn and punish who so ever pose threat to them. Blood for blood specially if some one like this arrogantly confess and intent to continue the blood shed of non-wahabis Recommend

  • Sid
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:23PM

    @Goraya Sb:
    the details of the cases are already mentioned in the blog,,, just read it.
    Now the question is is he really innocent, ? Big joke.
    in a shameful way the Punjab prosecution department withdraw all objections and evidence is a shamefull story of lust for power. Security withdrawn from defense witness is also historic.

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  • sarmad abu-bakar
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:23PM

    We don’t need no trial send this man for immediate execution ! The type who sparks sectarian violence! Recommend

  • John B
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:23PM

    The question is why he was not prosecuted ( charged ) on all these alledged crimes, instead of holding him in perpetual judicial custody.

    Culture of impunity?

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  • nzaar
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:28PM

    Guys, its not that simple. Proving a crime in a court of law requires witnesses and rock solid indisputable evidence. None of that exists in this case. Malik ishaq has never, on record, confessed to any crime.

    This is the reason that america sticks suspected terrorists in guantanamo bay… The traditional judicial system would have to let them go because of lack of solid evidence.Recommend

  • Maryam
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:32PM

    Thanks to the LHC for releasing our own brother.

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  • gp65
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:36PM

    @sial: “Not a blunder of our juidiciary, but the Punjab prosecution department. A judge can only decide on the evidence presented to him/her by the state prosecutor.”

    Not true. There are 10 cases of murder pending against him for which he has been granted bail by the judiciary. How can you give bail to someone who has so many murder charges pending against them?

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  • Pinky
    Jan 20, 2012 - 7:22PM

    as long as we dont introduce witness protection program, and ensure the availability of modern gadgets and forensic technology (for police) in EVERY city of pakistan (not just islamabad, karachi and lahore), Malik ishaqs of this country will continue to roam free and acquittal rate will remain at 75%…

    in absence of state of the art gadgetry, police fails to collect any convincing evidence or collects inadmissible evidence, leaving the case very weak…eyewitnesses are vital for a case, but in the absence of witness protection prog, they prefer to stay away out of fear of reprisals..

    and after the long since forgotten tragic end of the key witness of the Kharotabad incident, Dr Syed Baqir Shah, who can blame them :( :( :@

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  • sial
    Jan 20, 2012 - 7:41PM

    @gp65
    Bail is only given if the defendant can prove that he will not flee the court proceedings. I suspect that the 10 murder charges are for ‘manslaughter’ and not ‘homicide’ and they relate to one incident such as a bomb attack where 10 poor souls lost their lives. I have several uncles who have worked as judges and know the intricacies of the juidicial system. You just can’t throw someone in jail if you don’t like them. However, he can be put under house arrest if the Punjab government prosecutor can prove that he is a menace to society.

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  • logic europe
    Jan 20, 2012 - 7:58PM

    just shows you how timid the judiciary is
    it shows strenght only against PPP

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  • dv sikka
    Jan 20, 2012 - 8:17PM

    add to it Hafeez Saeed and you have the perfect mix for disaster. Minorities and Shia should pack up and leave Pakistan.

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  • sam
    Jan 20, 2012 - 8:43PM

    shameful. shame on the punjab judiciary.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 20, 2012 - 8:47PM

    @Pinky:
    @antanu g:
    {Malik Ishaq keep fighting for Islamic causes}

    What? Spreading hate against a sizeable minority not declared as Non Muslim even by the Saudi Religious Authority (Top Wahabi Institute) and directly or indirectly killing them in cold blood is considered fighting for Islamic cause?

    Editor ET: How can you possibly approve such a shameless comment?

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:07PM

    @John B:
    {The question is why he was not prosecuted ( charged ) on all these alledged crimes, instead of holding him in perpetual judicial custody}

    Being a Non Muslim why do you need to poke your nose in such matters? Without prosecution USA is holding percieved terrorists in perpetual custody in Guantanabay. If you are convinced about someone’s complicity in high level criminal / terrorist activities , but cant prove it due to technical reasons, then the only solution is not to apply normal judicial procedure to them.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:20PM

    I am absolutely stunned / flabbergasted by some of the comments implying Malik Ishaq’s innocence in a court of law. On the other hand we (me included) never tire of accussing Zardari and hating him for looting the national wealth even though he could not be convicted in 10 long years in jail by a highly charged / focussed prosecution aided by hostile sitting Governments.
    By the way killing minorities as a matter of religious faith / policy is a far greater crime than financial corruption. I know a very large numbers of readers wont agree and that is a trajedy.

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  • MUNIB
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:37PM

    Pak police should stop playing games of protecting terrorists under the guise of “weak cases”.

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  • Pinky
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:59PM

    @Hasan Mehmood
    er dude..i havnt said anything of that sort…get your eyes checked
    i believe he is a terrorist who is roaming free because of a weak case (lack of evidence or whatever)

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  • Shahid
    Jan 20, 2012 - 10:13PM

    Who gave him the bail in these cases???. If there are so many innocent people in jail why not him ? why court is showing so much mercy on him?. Pl. the present courts are scarred to death Try them in military courts as the charges are so serios.

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  • HASAN MEHMOOD
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:10AM

    @Pinky:
    You are right. Please accept my apologies. Probably got mixed up in multiple threads open at the same time on my laptop. By the way, I would appreciate your comments on my other comments on the same issue. Nobody ever responds to such comments maybe because of chilling accuracy.
    I am not a dude but an old man. No offence intended.

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  • HASAN MEHMOOD
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:16AM

    @Saqib:
    {You can’t put someone behind bars for nothing…………. bring it to court if you have anything against him……… or just leave him alone}

    We did jail Zardari based on perception and media reports of corruption. Got nothing. But I and maybe you wont leave him alone.

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  • Ali Wali
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:26AM

    In last three decades not a single Deobandi terrorist was hanged, we all know why! Powerful forces…….

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  • PP (Punjabi Pakistani)
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:27AM

    Judges knows “guns are closer than god”

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  • Anon
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:55AM

    Thats why in Karachi, we believe in street justice. You cant have justice from this corrupt system. His death is calling upon him.

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  • John B
    Jan 21, 2012 - 1:07AM

    @Hasan Mehmood:
    What is my being a non Muslim has anything to do with my question.

    The “friends” of Pak gifted by Musharraf who were cleared of worng doing were either sent back to their countries, (Canada, UK, Afghanistan, etc) and those whom their own country did not want were given asylum in various guest countries.

    The remaining “guests” such as Kalid Sheik and his associates are being tried under military tribunal and US tax payers are paying for their defense.

    Gitmo still holds the guests like Malik Ishaq and they are not released on bail as they are under military jurisdiction. Bush and his team were crafty when they set up Gitmo under military tribunal.

    Whereas, Ishaq has a laundry list of cases against him for years and he was under civilian jurisdiction. A serious prosecution on one single case would have put him behind bars, at least for a while.

    Let us not pretend what happened here. He has his own political power base, and sympathizers and delay in prosecution and judicial custody for a while is an easy way out rather than unleashing his wrath. Naturally courts cannot hold a person indefinitely, if no prosecution was initiated. All are happy at the end, except now he is free to initiate his agenda until someone else has guts to put him back in jail.

    That said, I am not a supporter of Gitmo. Those guests should have been tried in US courts as the Underwear bomber, shoe bomber, and the blind Sheik from NY. The Gitmo guests were military prisoners as far as US logic goes, so the rules are different. Do I like it, no. But do you have options in war? It depends, is the truthful answer.

    Yes I am a non Muslim and my question is still valid.

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  • logic europe
    Jan 21, 2012 - 2:28AM

    mr hassan mahmood ,sir whatever younare saying is correct and everybody knows it
    Nawaz and his gangs must be laughing There investment has paid off ,their support for extreemist is obvious ,may be these very people will bring him back to power ,every body knows what courts are doing,their recent status as the fourth corrupt institution has gone unnoticed because of the drama of NRO and memo gate
    may be history will give its judgment against people who are busy discrediting their country

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  • Smj
    Jan 21, 2012 - 3:21AM

    The families who suffered by him and his thugs should be thankful to judiciary and Punjab government for this opportunity. He is now a target for many of his victims who were seeking justice since 8 years.

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  • Saqib
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:23PM

    @HASAN MEHMOOD

    Nopes dude, am not a supporter of putting him or anyone else for that matter behind the bars on the basis of just perception……….Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 21, 2012 - 1:41PM

    @Saqib:
    There is more than perception to it. He did confess killing 70 Shias though not in front of Magistrate. He may deny it but he has never condemned those kilings. He officialy maintains SHIAS/ Ahmades are Wajab-ul-Qatal. If he is innocent why all the witnesses got killed, judges threatened and changed. He keeps spewing hatred against minorities but that does not seem to matter to you. People have ben jailed for a fraction of the crimes based on State’s evaluation of their guilt without iron clad proof.
    The more I read comments like yours the more my heart sinks.Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 21, 2012 - 6:26PM

    @John B:
    You have unnecessarily wasted a lot of space arguing your case which is not disputed.
    My position is that if we cannot prosecute the likes of him due to weak prosecution, supporters in high places, timid judiciary etc, we have no option but to deny him the luxury of due judicial process.

    You are splitting hairs in hiding behind war criminal / civil offendors difference. The fact is that he is as great a threat to Pakistan as Khalid Bin Sheikh was for your country. Remember OBAMA promised to disband GITMO but could not do it, due to obvious difficulty in successful prosecution in USA courts one of the best, resourceful and highly respected. Ours are no match (atleast in lower level). I do agree with whatever you and others said about failure of prosecution but thats not my point.

    MY QUESTION IS VERY BLUNT: DO WE LET HIM GO JUST BECAUSE OF OUR ACTS OF COMMISSION / OMMISSION AND INABILITY TO PROSECUTE AND TO UPHOLD THE HIGHER / NOBLE PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE.

    My remarks about your being Non Muslim are unfortunate and regreted. I only meant that you cannot possibly empathize with the sizeable Muslim minority who are living in mortal fear. For you he is just a hardened criminal / multiple killer. In your country you dont see people being dragged down from buses, lined up and shot. So how can you share the pain. Yes you can afford the luxury of writing down a thesis on prosecution and rights of criminals (mostly true) in a detached manner without feeling the pain and anguish.

    I for one would never recommend any leniency to those even remotely responsible for 9/11. That would be an affront to thousands of grieving American families.

    Regards and no offence intended.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 21, 2012 - 8:41PM

    @John B:
    You have unnecessarily wasted a lot of space arguing your case. My position is that if we cannot prosecute the likes of him due to weak prosecution, supporters in high places, timid judiciary etc, we have no option but to deny him the luxury of due judicial process.
    You are splitting hairs in hiding behind war criminal / civil offenders difference. The fact is that he is as a great a threat to Pakistan as Khalid Bin Sheikh was for your country. Remember OBAMA promised to disband GITMO but could not do it, due to obvious difficulty in successful prosecution in USA courts one of the best, resourceful and highly acclaimed. Ours are no match (at least at lower level). I do agree with whatever you and others said about failure of prosecution but that’s not my point.
    MY QUESTION IS VERY BLUNT: DO WE LET HIM GO JUST BECAUSE OF INCOMPETNCE AND INABILITY TO PROSECUTE AND TO UPHOLD THE HIGHER / NOBLE PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE.
    My remarks about your being Non Muslim are unfortunate and regretted. I only meant that you cannot possibly empathize with the sizeable Muslim minority who are living in mortal fear. For you he is just a hardened criminal / multiple killer. In your country you don’t see people being dragged down from buses, lined up and shot. So how can you share the pain? Yes you can afford the luxury of writing down a thesis on prosecution and rights of criminals (mostly true) in a detached manner without feeling the pain and anguish.
    I for one would never recommend any leniency to those even remotely responsible for 9/11. That would be an affront to thousands of grieving American families.
    Regards and no offence intended.

    Editor ET: Please dont deny my right of reply.

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  • Saqib
    Jan 21, 2012 - 10:01PM

    @Hasan Mehmood:

    Bro, i do not support him for killings…… but I tell u, his extreme behavior war perpetrated by a similar behavior on the other side………. just a few days ago i heard a man calling in a live tv show and spoke ill about Khulafa E Rashideen (Razi Allah Anhum Ajmain)…….. isn’t that blasphemy?? if that particular “minority” cannot respect the ideology of “majority”… ppl like these are bound to arise…..Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 22, 2012 - 9:25PM

    @Saqib:
    My dear friend you are clutching at straws in trying to defend the indefensible. We should not behave like our politicians on talk shows who always manage to wriggle out even when faced with damning evidence. You must be an educated person. I implore you, I beg you to rise above yourself. It will be a sign of maturity and intellectual integrity. Irrespective of your religious inclination (a personnel matter), you need not be apologetic and don’t need to find excuses for his barbaric behavior. (In a lighter vein one look at his picture will send shivers down one’s spine) He is a cold blooded killer and condemning him in no way casts any aspersions on the sect he belongs to. Just as Muslims as a whole are not responsible for the atrocities of Al Qaeda around the world.
    The TV incident you mentioned must be a rarity (although there should have been a hue and cry and apology from the channel, which I must have missed). Nevertheless I condemn such behavior in the strongest possible terms. However comparing few provocative words from a random faceless caller to the ultimate face of a sectarian hate monger (if not killer as per court) is with all due respect not justified.
    However to be fair to you, there have been hateful speeches from the other side but at least no wall chalking branding any different sect as Kafir. And yes some high profile targeted killings have also taken place but never ever random killings such as mosque / procession blasts or killing of weak / meek / poor such as Hazara people duly accepted by the sectarian outfit. No self declared defender of Prophet and his companion’s honor can drag down ordinary passengers (who have not said or done anything derogatory), line them up and shoot in cold blood. I consider them lucky, as at least their bodies were not hacked into pieces and left on road side (ordinary travelers on Thal Parachinar Road). If you check newspaper records dozens of doctors belonging to the targeted sect were killed in Karachi based solely on their names as printed on their clinic sign board. You must also be aware of the GOJRA massacre of Christians carried out / abetted by sectarian party members from outside the area.
    Please understand such behavior has nothing to with higher Islamic principles but a manifestation of a sick mind. To restrain such persons if not punish them should be our absolute minimum objective.
    LETS PRAY FOR PEACE FOR ALL.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 22, 2012 - 9:35PM

    You must respect my right of reply in a level headed manner.

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  • Jan 22, 2012 - 10:25PM

    @Saqib:

    isn’t that blasphemy??

    No it’s not. The new Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband movement try twisting it to be so, putting controversial historical figures on a revisionist divine pedestal, but there’s no grounds or justification in Sunni Islamic Jurisprudence for murder on this basis, the same way there was no grounds or justification of Taseer’s murder by his Barelvi bodyguard.

    Agree everyone should be respectful (including the right to life), but it is a flimsy, pathetic excuse and hegemonic bigotry to justify sectarian cleansing by claiming that, because the minority Shia sect don’t share the same beliefs and accept or respect those that even Sunni sect scholars admit had serious flaws, it is a ‘bound to arise’ reason for widespread bombing and shoot-up massacres that includes Masjids, funerals, processions, homes, targeted educated professionals etc. with women and children among them.

    That is a rabid intolerant hateful ideology and not something normal in a civilized or Islamic society. In a mature society you can find Hasan Mehmoods apologizing to John B’s without Mehmood’s and B’s resorting to deadly threats and violence.

    Condemn it all out, instead of putting a ‘but, but’ qualifier, which only makes one seem like a terrorist sectarian sympathizer. Recommend

  • HASAN MEHMOOD
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:39PM

    @bigsaf:
    I have yet to read a more well argued / philosophical / courageous post on this blog.
    You should try contributing full length articles instead of commenting.
    I salute you.

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  • s shah
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:58PM

    totally agree with @hasan mehmood and @bigsaf.

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  • Jan 23, 2012 - 10:15AM

    @HASAN MEHMOOD:
    @s shah:

    Thank you. Much appreciated.

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