LeJ chief walks free after bail
Lahore: The leader of notorious anti-Shia extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was on Tuesday freed from prison, a day after he was granted bail by a Pakistani court in a case registered against him for making hate speeches.
Malik Ishaq, the head of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, was released from Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.
He had been granted bail against a surety of Rs 500,000 by an additional district and sessions court yesterday.
Ishaq was arrested at Lahore airport on August 30 while returning to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia, where he had gone to perform the 'Umra' pilgrimage.
Though he had violated regulations by travelling abroad while free on bail, Ishaq was arrested for allegedly making a hate speech at a village on the outskirts of Lahore on August 9.
The judge who granted him bail yesterday said police had been unable to produce any incriminating evidence against Ishaq.
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is believed to have links with al Qaeda links.
Ishaq has been linked to the murder of 70 Shias.
He was released from jail in July last year after the Supreme Court granted him bail. At the time, he had been in prison for 14 years.
After his release, attacks on Shias increased significantly and over 100 Shias were killed in attacks across the country.
The LeJ claimed responsibility for several of these brazen attacks.
While still in prison, Ishaq was accused of masterminding the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore that killed eight persons.
Ishaq was charged in 44 cases but convicted in only two, for which he received prison terms totalling six-and-half years.
He was acquitted in 34 cases and granted bail in seven others while one case was discharged.