LAHORE: Intelligence sources have confirmed that the alleged mastermind of the Jinnah Hospital attacks is in their custody.
Dr Ali Abdullah, who went missing from the hospital last week, was picked up by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) after “thorough surveillance lasting over a month-and-a-half”. He had allegedly planned the May 31 attack on Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, where one of the attackers of the Ahmadi places of worship was being treated.
Dr Abdullah, 24, had rented a house in Chung area in Lahore, where he provided shelter to the perpetrators of the attacks on Ahmadi places of worship on May 28, it is alleged. He provided them with maps of the hospital and a vehicle, and was the one to plan the attack on the hospital.
Dr Abdullah was present when the hospital was attacked and, along with two doctors who are yet to be identified, provided medical care to the attacker who was injured during crossfire with police in the hospital.
Intelligence sources said that they have arrested eight more people on Dr Abdullah’s indication, some of whom participated in the Jinnah Hospital attack. Dr Abdullah, they said, belongs to a banned organisation, but they refused to name it. Those arrested are being interrogated at an undisclosed location.
Dr Abdullah’s father, Dr Sarfraz, a senior registrar at the Services Hospital, has denied that his son was involved in the attacks and has demanded to meet Dr Abdullah. On July 11, he had lodged an FIR against unidentified kidnappers in the Garden Town police station. He had alleged that his son was kidnapped outside Jinnah Hospital when he was on his way to lunch. Dr Sarfraz had earlier said that his son had been a nazim for the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) when he was a student at Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2010.