LAHORE: Malik Ishaq, founder of banned terror outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has been given the position of vice president within the banned religious party Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ).
A statement issued by the ASWJ, read that differences had erupted between the Chairperson Ahmed Ali Ludhianvi and Malik Ishaq on organisational matters within the ASWJ. However, intervention by senior ASWJ members such as Abdul Hafeez Makki helped resolve the matter.
ASWJ added in the statement that the party will never be allowed to break up in to factions, and it will follow the teachings and mission of Haq Nawaz Jhangvi. Jhangvi’s Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was the militant arm of the banned sectarian outfit Sipah Sahaba Pakistan.
Maulana Ahmed Ali Ludhianvi, Chairperson of ASWJ Pakistan, told The Express Tribune, that the differences were organisational in nature and have now been resolved.
Ludhianivi also hinted at a change in ASWJ and Ishaq’s policy. Referring to Rehman Malik’s usual exhortations to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan to throw away weapons as prerequisites for talks, “I have made Ishaq throw away his weapons, I deserve praise for this,” the ASWJ chief said, demanding that the Interior Ministry should now talk with the deweaponised Ishaq.
Earlier in September, Malik wrote a letter to the chief secretary Punjab and warned him that if the provincial government fails to arrest Ishaq, the Federal Investigation Agency would do so.
Ludhianvi, who’s banned ASWJ had been formed by remnants of SSP said that since Ishaq was now part of the ASWJ office, he was bound to follow the organisation’s policy. ASWJ has claimed it can help curb sectarian violence in the country.
Since Ishaq’s release in 2011, after spending more than a decade in Jail, Ludhianvi and other clerics like Tahir Ashrafi, have insisted that Ishaq should be integrated in mainstream religious parties claiming he has now been deradicalised.
Ishaq was recently released after being arrested at the Lahore airport in a case of provocative speech. Another FIR for provocative speech under 295-A was filed against Ishaq during Ramazan in Chiniot, in which he was charged with provocative speech under 295-A. However, a Lahore court granted him bail.