LAHORE: Serious efforts are under way to keep the outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leader, Malik Ishaq, locked up in order to curb growing sectarian violence. On Friday, Ishaq was sent on a 14-day judicial remand to Kot Lakhpat jail by a local court following his arrest outside Lahore airport on Thursday.
A case had been registered against Malik Ishaq on August 9, after he had given a “provocative hate speech” during a Khatm-e-Nabuwwat conference which was held in Kamahaan, a village of Lahore. The case had been registered under Article 295-A of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 3 of the Amplifier Act.
He was arrested by Nashtar Colony Police outside Lahore airport upon his return from Saudi Arabia. Superintendent of Police (SP) Model Town Division, Awais Malik, confirmed that he had been sent to Kot Lakhpat jail on a 14 day judicial remand.
Prisoners on remand are normally sent to Camp Jail, Lahore, but Ishaq was sent to Kot Lakhpat, because he is a high-profile prisoner, sources familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune.
Sources say that because these are bailable offences, police have already obtained arrest warrants in another case to keep Ishaq detained.
Sources claim that Ishaq was arrested due to increasing incidents of sectarian clashes, particularly in Punjab, where Malik and his accomplices had been delivering “provocative and fiery” speeches.
Intelligence agencies had warned the Punjab government that if Malik Ishaq was not arrested, the number of sectarian killings could increase, particularly during the month of Muharram.
Two recent incidents took place in Chiniot and Rahim Yar Khan, spreading panic among residents, intelligence reports added.
The Punjab police and Punjab’s public prosecution department’s records cite Malik Ishaq’s involvement in more than 40 cases in which 70 people were killed, with a majority of the deceased belonging to the Shia community. Ishaq was released from Kot Lakhpat jail in July 2011 after 14 years of imprisonment, when the Supreme Court granted him bail in the case of a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2012.
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