Islamabad: Malik Ishaq, the chief of the
banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who is accused of plotting the 2009
attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, received a
monthly stipend from the PML-N government in Pakistan`s Punjab
province while he was in prison, a media report said on Saturday.
While in jail, Ishaq, who was freed on bail recently,
enjoyed Punjab government`s financial assistance ever since
the PML-N came to power in 2008, `The Express Tribune`
newspaper quoted unnamed officials as saying.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, who has himself been
under a cloud for his alleged links with the Sipah-e-Sahaba
terror group, confirmed the disbursement of the stipend to
Ishaq. However, he contended the amount was given to Ishaq`s
family, and not to him, according to orders of the court.
The daily reported that its own investigation had
revealed that there was no court order pertaining to the
matter and that no such stipend was paid to Ishaq during the
tenure of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.
Ishaq was freed from Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore on
Thursday after Pakistan`s Supreme Court granted him bail.
He had been held in prison for 14 years after being arrested
for various charges, ranging from involvement in terrorism to
plotting sectarian attacks.
Ishaq was named in 44 cases in which 70 people were
Meanwhile, in a related development, a key witness in
a case against Ishaq, Fida Hussain Ghalvi, has been provided
police protection to avert any untoward incidents.
This highlights the concerns among intelligence and law
enforcement agencies after the release of Ishaq, the report
Ghalvi said two policemen had been deputed to guard him
on the orders of Multan police chief Amir Zulifqar.
Ghalvi has relocated from his hometown out of fear for
his life. He is currently moving between two different
locations for security reasons.
However, two other key witnesses and a complainant
against Ishaq have not been provided any security and fear for
The men, identified as Khadim Hussain, Sikandar and
Abdul Ghafour (the complainant) are the only people to have
survived court cases over which 20 people were killed,
including eight who were murdered purely for being associated
with cases against Ishaq.
"I can be attacked at any time and I do not know if I
will be alive tomorrow or not, as you know almost everyone who
was a witness or a relative has been slain," said Sikandar.
"When Ishaq was in jail, eight people were killed
mercilessly by the same group," said Khadim Hussain.
Abdul Ghafour, the complainant in the first case against
Ishaq in which 12 people were massacred during a Shia
gathering, said he had been waiting for justice for 14 years
but had lost hope after Ishaq`s release.