‘Cognitive dissonance’ fails to describe the words and actions of Malik Ishaq, the leader of the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), recently released on bail.
Far from keeping a lowprofile, the man accused of murdering 70 people – most of them Shia – is active once again, preaching hatred and violence in the name of Islam, according to an internal document prepared by a law enforcement department of the Punjab government and made available to The Express Tribune.
The document titled: “Highly objectionable activities of Malik Ishaq” reads “Please find enclosed herewith four vernacular reports regarding some highly objectionable activities of Malik Ishaq whose name has also been placed in the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) for information and appropriate legal action.”
“Ishaq addressed Maulvi Muhammad Yasin’s Madrassah Tajul Aloom at Tab Chouhan on September 2. Earlier the same day, he also gave an address at Maki Mosque, Thal Hamza District in Rahim Yar Khan,” reads the cover letter enclosed with the document.
“All those against Sahaba, are not our personal enemies, but the enemies of Islam. And we will fight them … we cannot tolerate these elements at any cost,” Ishaq had said during his address, reveals the document.
On September 4 and 5, Ishaq also visited Tranda Panah with Shafiq Maavia, a man whose name was also placed in the fourth schedule of the ATA (meaning he and every person who visited him would be watched by the police). This programme was hosted by Ayub Maavia. He later attended a Difa-e-Sahaba conference held at Madrasa Qasamul Uloom which was hosted by Maulana Manzoor Amed.
During the conference, they chanted some highly inflammatory slogans. Ishaq, then, also vowed that the “killings of the enemies of Sahaba would continue”.
“Prisons will not stop our mission. The LeJ is not a terrorist outfit. It was set up to ensure proper respect for the companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” Ishaq said. He said he would not abandon its mission even if he’s jailed for it once again. “Our struggle will continue,” he reiterated.
On September 6 Ishaq visited the house of high-profile terrorist, Abdul Wahab alias Aanek Wala Jin, whose name is also included in the Red Book, comprising particulars of most-wanted terrorists.
He was accompanied by Qari Manzoor Ahmed Shakar, the general secretary of District Kasur, whose name is also placed in the fourth schedule of the ATA.
The entry of Malik Ishaq and Syed Ghulam Rasool Shah, a close aide of Ishaq’s and coaccused in various cases of terrorism registered against the LeJ leader, has been banned within the limits of District Toba Tek Singh for three months due to provocative speeches and inciting violence.
Despite being declared a terrorist organisation, policemen have been deployed at Ishaq’s residence in Mohallah Islam Nagar.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2011.