Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s Malik Ishaq’s freedom costs Shias dearly in Pakistan

By Raza Ruman

Islamabad, Feb 18 ( After the release of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi chief Malik Ishaq by the courts over one-and-a-half-year ago, over 1,000 Shias have been killed across the country so far.

The Shia community believes that had the courts not set this man free some of the deadliest attacks on them might have been averted.

On the other hand, for the first time a political party dares to name LeJ in the killing of Shias and asked to stop killing the Shias “in the name of Islam”.

“I explicitly take their name and call out to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. If you carry out this terrorism in the name of Islam, then you couldn’t be greater enemies of the religion,” Khan told a press conference in Islamabad, naming the feared militant group for the first time.

The PTI chief’s press conference follows a deadly bombing in Quetta claiming 84 lives, with most victims belonging mostly to the ethnic Hazara Shia community. It was the second deadly blast in the city in little over a month, with an earlier attack claiming 93 lives, also mostly Hazaras. Both attacks were claimed by the feared militant group LeJ.

“Islam is the religion of peace. Attacking innocent civilians is outright terrorism,” Khan said.

Pakistan saw a wave of killing of Shias esp[ecially of Hazara community after the release of Malik Ishaq.

Ishaq has been implicated in dozens of cases, mostly murder of hundreds of Shias, and was accused of masterminding a 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, which wounded seven players and an assistant coach and killed eight Pakistanis.
Punjab government recently had detained Ishaq over anti-Shia speech but later freed him owing to want of evidence. -Pak Destiny


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