Lack of Evidence , Judicial Incompetence or Promotion of Terrorism
JNN 20 July 2011 : Just a couple of days back a Terrorist by the name of Malik Ishaq was released from jail. Malik Ishaq was accused not only of being the chief of the banned sectarian organization, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, but of killing 70 people (almost all Shias) in 44 separate instances of culpable homicide. Most recently, he was alleged to have been involved in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
The influential co-founder of a Sipah-e-Sahaba breakaway group Lashkar e Jhangvi now linked with al Qaeda and the Taliban received a stipend from the PML (N) Punjab government while he was in jail, which was even confirmed by Rana Sanaullah the Close Relative of the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudary and like other key terror suspects on the Government list of Favorites, was allowed to use a mobile phone.
Point to ponder is, the revelation that Malik Ishaq’s family received a stipend from Punjab government while he was in jail. According to Rana Sanaullah, the learned law minister for the Punjab government, the stipend was paid on court orders. This newspaper, however, reports that “it was revealed that nor was there any such disbursements during former president Pervez Musharraf’s tenure, nor was there any court order pertaining to the matter”.It looks to be only the Pay Back of Billion of Rupees which Nawaz Shariff use to receive from Osama Bin Laden , as he was his favourite and His government was also backed by the same establishment , which supported and sponsored these Terror Networks.
Malik Ishaq had told an Urdu daily in October 1997 that he was involved in the killing of 102 people. He was arrested the same year, and eventually charged with 70 of those murders in 44 different cases, including master minding the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009, while being in the Jail. Last week, the Supreme Court released him because of “lack of evidence”.
Among those who fear the consequences is Fida Hussain Ghalvi, a key witness in a case in which Ishaq was accused of killing 12 members of a Shia family during a Majlis in 1997. When Ghalvi and three other men identified Ishaq, he told them in front of a judge that “dead men can’t talk”. Five witnesses and three of their relatives were killed during the trial. Ishaq was acquitted because of “lack of evidence”.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg. A more remarkable case involving the anti-Shia leader from southern Punjab was the bombing of an Iranian culture centre in Multan, also in 1997. Eight people were killed. When investigating officer Ijaz Shafi persuaded two witnesses to appear in court, his car was sprayed with 13 bullets. Anti-Terrorism Court judge Bashir Ahmed Bhatti convicted Ishaq but the Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2006 because of “lack of evidence”.
In March 2007, the same judge, scheduled to hear another case against Malik Ishaq, was on his way to the court when a remote-controlled bicycle bomb exploded near his car, killing his driver and two policemen. Ishaq was charged with planning the bombing. Two years later, the prosecution’s witnesses suddenly turned hostile. Ishaq was acquitted in April 2009, because of “lack of evidence”.
In that context, it is very surprising that one of the Supreme Court judges who released Malik Ishaq on bail last week scolded the prosecution and said the case was weak. The same judge, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, was part of a Lahore Hight Court bench that had asked the police to close down cases of hate speech and incitement to violence, against Jamaat ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed. The bench would simply not accept that Jamaatud Dawa was another name for Lashkar-e-Taiba, because the new name was not present on a certain list.
Let us recap then. Malik Ishaq is alleged to be the leader of a banned sectarian organisation. He is alleged to have killed 70 people. He is alleged to have had eight witnesses murdered so as to avoid conviction. He is alleged to have masterminded the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, an attack which perhaps more than any other instance is responsible for Pakistan’s status as a pariah state. And the popularly elected government of the largest province in Pakistan — the one also responsible for the criminal prosecution of Malik Ishaq — not only paid a monthly stipend to the family of this alleged mass murderer while he was in jail but then lied about the reasons for doing so. Which is a Shame ful and in other words promotion of sectarian hatred in Pakistan?
A high ranking intelligence official speaking on the condition of anonymity said that Ishaq had helped intelligence agencies in the past.
Later, when he started to think of himself as ‘too powerful,’ the agencies broke off ties with him, the official said.
Ishaq also provided vital information regarding the network of Aqeel alias Dr Usman, the alleged mastermind of the GHQ attack who is currently in custody, the official added.While he was even flown by the agencies to negotiate with the terrorists , as they have taken Army Personnel hostages at the time of attack at GHQ.
Ishaq was received upon release by chief of Millat-e-Islamia (MeI) / Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) Maulana Muhammad Ludhianvi , the new names of the Old Banned Terrorist Organisation Sipah e Sahaba Pakistan.
“Ishaq has now joined SSP/MeI/ASWJ and revoked his membership of LeJ,” said the SSP/ MeI/ASWJ spokesperson Shamsur Rehman Mavia.
“He was therefore received by the ASWJ chief today, who gave the security bond money and the guarantee that Ishaq will now continue his struggle for Islam using peaceful means,” Mavia said.
The Punjab government has been given the same guarantee, he said,