A detained doctor has confessed playing the role of facilitator in four suicide attacks in Lahore, sources said on Monday. He also admitted having facilitated the terrorists who attacked the hospital to free or kill a comrade who was injured in the May 28 attack in Model Town.
Sources revealed that Dr Ali Abdullah had been involved in two suicide attacks in Model Town and one in R A bazaar. Investigators are keeping mum about the fourth suicide attack because they fear that any such information would compromise their on-going investigation.
On July 10, sleuths from the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) detained Dr Abdullah in connection with his alleged links with the assailants who attacked Jinnah Hospital on May 31.
Dr Abdullah also revealed the names of professors who taught him medicine, religious studies and managed his training during his degree at Allama Iqbal Medical College (AIMC) in Lahore.
While pursuing his medical degree, Abdullah reportedly said he had received armed training in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The source of his inspiration came in the form of lectures delivered by Professor Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, allegedly a pioneer of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JD).
Data obtained from the medical college shows that Chaudhry, a professor of medicine, has been teaching at the institution since 2005. Professor Chaudhry is also the chief warden of the AIMC hostel for boys.
Between the years 2005 and 2010, Abdullah was the nazim of the Islami Jamiat Taleba (IJT). Sometime during this period he was given training at the JD’s armed wing, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
JD sources have told The Express Tribune that Chaudhry is the person who laid the foundations of JD, LeT, Markaz Dawat-ul-Irshad and is now working as the president of JD’s medical wing Muslim Medical Mission (MMM). They said that Chaudhry’s responsibility is to prepare the young from various universities and particularly from medical institutions for supporting militants.
Intelligence sources maintain that Abdullah, along with other students, was sent to attend JD’s medical camps under the MMM platform in various cities.
Sources further said that they had informed the authorities concerned to take action against Chaudhry.
AIMC principal Dr Javeed Akram told The Express Tribune that “Professor Chaudhry was brought from Lahore General Hospital to AIMC by his predecessor principal Professor Khurram Manzoor.”
He admitted the presence of JD’s wing in AIMC which was working under the MMM.
“Professor Chaudhry was the chief warden of the AIMC and has strong affiliations with the leader of JD’s chief Hafiz Saeed,” Akram added.
Chaudhry told The Express Tribune that “MMM was established and registered last year and its first annual conference was held at the Agricultural University Islamabad”. He insisted that the association is working legally having been registered by the Punjab government
According to him, some 2,000 doctors, including his pupils, were working as volunteers under the MMM.
Though he admitted that Abdullah was his pupil and often attended religious events at the AIMC, he denied having ever sent Abdullah for training to Azad Kashmir.
“Dr Abdullah organised different religious events in hostels after obtaining permission from me. As chief warden of the hostel, I have to regularly attend religious events,” Chaudhry said. As nazim of the IJT, he said, Dr Abdullah had no relations with the JD.
Dr Abdullah’s father Dr Sarfraz, who is the additional medical superintendent of the Services Hospital, told The Express Tribune that Capital City Police Officer Aslam Tareen, contacted him last year and assured him that his son was not in the custody of the Lahore Police.
Sarfraz added that after Tareens’ statement he had decided to move to the Lahore High Court.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2010.