MULTAN, May 29: Chief of his own faction of the defunct extremist organisation Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Qari Abdul Hayee alias Qari Asad was shifted to Multan Central Jail on Thursday.
The Muzaffargarh police presented him before a local court on Thursday after arresting him from an undisclosed location. The court ordered to send him to the prison as a black warrant had been issued against him in the Shehr Sultan killings of January, 1994.
Talking to Dawn, Muzaffargarh DPO Salman Chaudhry said the police would soon apply for the physical remand of Qari Hayee to interrogate him in a number of terrorist acts, including the recent spate of bombings in Karachi.
Qari Hayee, known as Qari Asad among the militants, had been absconding since the Shehr Sultan killings.
There were intelligence reports indicating that he had left the country for Afghanistan in 1997 where he became the “chief trainer” at the ‘Sarobi camp’ of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, infusing organised terrorism in the country in the name of sectarianism.
At the Sarobi camp, differences had cropped up between him and the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi chief Riaz Basra as he became skeptical of the latter’s intelligence agency links, specially after two of the accused of a case involved in the murder of some four policemen in Multan in 1998 in a fake police encounter.
Consequently, Qari Asad had succeeded to oust Basra from the Sarobi camp, creating a rift in the ranks of the now defunct organization with Ajmal alias Akram Lahori joining Basra’s camp while Asif Ramzi, Usman Chotta, Tanveer alias Tanni and Naeem Bokhari had aligned themselves with Qari Asad.
Police sources said Basra and his followers had strong following in the Punjab while Qari Asad’s group enjoyed greater support in Karachi. Qari was said to be an expert in explosives, chemicals, hand-to-hand combat and weaponry.
A senior police officer said majority of the terrorists operating in the country had been trained by Qari at the Saroby camp.
Later, Qari Asad returned from Afghanistan in 2002 after the ouster of the Taliban regime and had reportedly taken refuge at a seminary of Banuri town in Karachi and later a seminary called the ‘Darul Fateh,’ which was situated in Abu Bakr Mosque near Nagan Chorangi in the same city.
According to police sources, Qari was reorganising the defunct organization by contacting militants he himself had trained and had come to Muzaffargarh to plan suicide attacks on some senior police officials who had played role in breaking the network of the terrorists.
According to other sources, the alleged mastermind behind a number of suicide bombings in Karachi was arrested from his home in the Muzaffargarh district.
His capture carried a bounty amounting to Rs2 million.
The DPO told Dawn that Qari had divulged some important information to the police which would help break the terrorism network in the country.
He said Qari and his accomplices were involved in robberies in various cities specially in the southern Punjab.