Pakistan News – The leader of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) has surrendered himself to authorities, police said on Friday, a week after the banned religious outfit claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing in Quetta killing over 90 people.
Senior police officer Ashfaq Gujar said Malik Ishaq was arrested from his residence at the Airport Road in the central city of Rahim Yar Khan on Friday.
It was not immediately clear on what charges he was arrested.
According to reports, Ishaq has been detained for a period of one month, although it could not be verified as police refrained from commenting on the charges of his arrest.
Ishaq is one of the founders of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi group, which is accused of sectarian violence and has claimed several attacks on the ethnic Hazara Shia population in Balochistan.
Ishaq, who also belongs to the now defunct Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, was also detained last year on accusations of fanning sectarian hatred.
The arrest comes a day after the Pakistan Army emphatically denied it maintained any links with the banned terror outfit. “The armed forces were not in contact with any militant organisation, including Lashkar-i-Jhangvi,” ISPR chief Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa told a media briefing on Thursday.
Human rights organisations have accused the army and its intelligence agencies of maintaining links with Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.
The allegations stem from the army using Ishaq for negotiating with the terrorists who had attacked the military headquarters in October 2009. Ishaq’s subsequent release from jail was sceptically seen as a deal. The escape of LJ’s operational commander in Balochistan, Usman Saifullah Kurd, in 2008 from a detention facility in the military Cantonment in Quetta has also raised questions.