Action against the LeJ

Published: February 24, 2013
A photo of Malik Ishaq addressing a press conference on February 22.

A photo of Malik Ishaq addressing a press conference on February 22.

A photo of Malik Ishaq addressing a press conference on February 22.

Finally, as public pressure continues to mount over the killings of Shia in the country, the leader of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Malik Ishaq, has been detained for one month at the Rahim Yar Khan jail. Previously, he had been held at his own home. It is unknown on what charges Ishaq has been held but it should be noted that at least two FIRs exist against him in Khanewal district. Before this, the leader of the extremist group had been held in jail for prolonged periods only to be released on court orders due to lack of proof. This time, too, Ishaq, at a press conference before his arrest, stated that the LeJ had nothing to do with recent attacks on Shias, including the ones in Quetta (despite the fact that following both, the group claimed responsibility for them) and that he would be “willing to go to any forum to ensure peace in the country”.

The action against the LeJ leader has come late; but the fact that it has happened is possibly a good omen. The question now is whether it will be possible to hold him for any length of time in keeping with the gravity of crimes committed by his group over the years. The fact that the LeJ has, according to reports, split into various factions, adds to the complications surrounding the whole affair. Although there is no doubt in most people’s minds that Ishaq is behind many attacks, it is hard to say precisely who is giving the orders in Quetta, with Usman Saifullah Kurd repeatedly named as the man behind the Hazara massacres.

However, it is clear we need some kind of action. The capture of Ishaq is, therefore, welcome. It coincides with an operation in Quetta in which two LeJ activists were killed and four arrested. It seems obvious that we need to go after all these groups with as much force as we can muster. The need, however, is also to have reliable police investigations so that evidence against them can be presented, the due process of law followed and those arrested not allowed to walk free this time as has happened more than once in the past. This is, of course, one reason for the continued sectarian violence we face across the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • sabi
    Feb 24, 2013 - 3:56AM

    On the one hand we see civilised world desperatly looking for clues with the help of forensic science and dna tests to reach to clueless criminals.On the other hand we have criminals openly demonstating heinious crimes and publicly taking responsibility for their crimes,yet we need proofs and legislations to catch them.This shows nothing but law of jungel occupied by savages.


  • Mirza
    Feb 24, 2013 - 4:04AM

    Show no mercy on these terrorists. Put them away and send them to Gitmo for good. Let the drones increase their range and take care of all our problems. It is a shame that most rightwing parties are allied with these terrorists. In particular PML-N has electoral alliance with the remnants of PSS and LeJ groups.


  • Arijit Sharma
    Feb 24, 2013 - 6:08AM

    Isn’t that Anjem Choudary – second row, second from left ?


  • parvez
    Feb 24, 2013 - 6:56AM

    It is a shame the guy who has admitted killing Shias and was let go free because of lack of so called evidence> only in Pakistan we kill our own people in the name religion and get admired by millions of uneducated masses they don’t understand the true face of Islam that is love for fellow Muslims and humans no wonder we are going backwardsRecommend

  • gp65
    Feb 24, 2013 - 7:40AM

    The judges were okay with using as evidence an anonymous video uploaded on youtube that indicated that some anchors may have been supporting Malik Riaz. Under the circumstances, there should be no trouble whatsoever finding plenty of evidence on youtube of hate speeches by LeJ leadership (or can I be too optimistic and also say LeT leadership?). IT is the lack of will to prosecute these people because
    – no safety/security provided to police/prosecutor/judges who act against these people
    – some political parties as well as army providing covert support to these parties.


  • Qasim
    Feb 24, 2013 - 11:38AM

    Why waste money sending them to Gitmo? All of them should be dumped in Siachen. If they try to escape from there, they will either get shot by Indians or end up buried by avalanches.


  • expaki
    Feb 24, 2013 - 12:19PM

    @Qasim: Qasim Sahib, “THESE ANGLES” are Pakistani STRATEGIC DEPTH, they are taking Pakistan to “DEPTH” why Indian will be shooting them? Let their INVENTORS deal with them. aka that “BROTHERLY COUNTRY”


  • Jawad U Rehman
    Feb 24, 2013 - 12:26PM

    Is it just me or you all can see the hate written all over these faces?


  • Bale
    Feb 24, 2013 - 1:26PM

    I would name the brotherly country for you too – Saudi Arabia.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Feb 24, 2013 - 2:08PM

    You do have a point sir!


  • NK
    Feb 24, 2013 - 2:13PM

    the establishment has already taught their assets survival tactics : if pressure mounts to ban you ; split into factions and rebrand yourself with new letters from the alphabet soup. Will not be surprised tif LeJ is banned and it re surfaces as JeT or TyP or something else!


  • Asif Khan
    Feb 24, 2013 - 3:01PM

    Another topi drama by govt.i think action would also take against all type of terrorist groups who kille ulma and innocent people in karachi.action against single group is not a proper may be increase anger


  • Karachities
    Feb 25, 2013 - 11:28PM

    Sipah-e-Muhammad, Tehrik-e-Jafria, Imamia Students Organization and other Iran funded banned outfits are targeting righteous Muslims in rest of the country.


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