Two police men have been assigned security duties at the residence of Malik Ishaq, recently released from a Lahore prison.
Rahim Yar Khan district police officer Sohail Tajik told The Express Tribune that the guards were deployed at the Mohallah Islam Nagar house of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leader in view of the threat posed by a large number of people visiting him everyday He said more officials would be deployed to the place if the need arose. The LeJ has been declared a terrorist organisation and banned.
A Rahim Yar Khan police security branch official speaking on condition of anonymity said four guards of a private security company were also performing security duties at the place.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) Punjab president Shamasur Rehman Muavia expressed satisfaction over security arrangements at Ishaq’s home.
Ishaq has been acquitted in 34 of the 44 cases against him involving killing of 70 people, most of them belonging to the Shia sect. He has been released on bail in the remaining 10 cases, including the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
‘Prisons will not stop our mission’
“Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is not a terrorist outfit. It was set up to ensure proper respect for the companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” Malik Ishaq said on Friday.
He was speaking to a delegation of clerics belonging to the Majlis Ahrar-i-Islam at his residence. He said foreign powers were responsible for terrorism in the country. He said these powers using as front an organisation named International Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
He said it was this organisation that had been accepting responsibility for terrorist attacks in the country and not the LeJ he had belonged to. Criticising Interior Minister Rehman Malik for accusing LeJ of terrorist acts, he said Malik appeared to be a spokesperson for the ILJ and not the federal government.
Ishaq also said he was committed to continuing his fight mission of defending the companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) against slander and irreverence. He said he would not abandon the mission even if he was again jailed for it.
“Our struggle will continue from the platform of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat,” he said. He said hundreds of LeJ workers had laid down their lives for the cause.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2011.