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LAHORE: A provincial review board, comprising three judges of the Lahore High Court, on Monday ended detention of Malik Ishaq, leader of a banned outfit, after the Punjab government opted to withdraw appeal for extension to his confinement.

The Punjab special secretary home and other officials produced Ishaq before the board amid strict security as a heavy police contingent was deployed on the high court premises. The board, comprising Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan and Justice Abdul Sami Khan, held in-camera proceedings.

The government’s counsel requested the board to extend Ishaq’s detention for further three months in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre. He argued that the release of Ishaq would be a risk to law and order as he was known for delivering hate speeches at religious gatherings.

An insider said Malik Ishaq contested the government’s arguments and told the board that the allegation of delivering provoking speeches was baseless.

The board observed the government had failed to produce convincing evidence in support of its arguments.

Anticipating an adverse decision by the board, the secretary opted to withdraw the appeal and the board dismissed the appeal as withdrawn, ending the detention of Ishaq.

The review board had, on Sept 25, extended the detention of Ishaq for three months. The government had detained him in July this year under maintenance of public order (MPO) declaring him a risk to the law and order. His detention was due to end on Dec 25.

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2014

Comments (56) Closed

ysk Dec 23, 2014 07:53am

So basically, all the leading terrorists will be released because they fear hanging...

hussain684 Dec 23, 2014 09:47am

Shame on this system. Ishaque is head of LJ-a banned outfit that claimed many many sectarian killings.

muhammad Dec 23, 2014 10:01am

What else you can expect from this coward government Malik Ishaq has been known for his killings and his ferocious speeches against the opposing sects and further PML (N) do not want to upset their right wing voters, Rana Sana Ullah will keep appeasing sectarian terrorists groups at the cost of innocent silent majority until and unless silent majority collectively under the banner of one organization stands united against this injustice they will never get any respite, any justice from this government

AXH Dec 23, 2014 10:05am

This is all a topi drama and nothing more. On one hand, these people have backing of the influential people in the government because they do their dirty work and on the other hand, and the judiciary is incapable of keeping them in lockups because it is afraid of them. How can someone in their right mind can let this killer go?

Faruq Dec 23, 2014 10:10am

Seems like terrorists and extremists are being targeted in Sindh, KP and Balochistan and then Punjab decides to release more of them from prison.

Warrior Bin Qasim Dec 23, 2014 10:11am

And we complain why terrorism doesn't go away. Need I say more???

tinker bell Dec 23, 2014 10:18am

Suspension of death sentences, release of dangerous convicts after what happened in Peshawar....what can i say?

irfan baloch Dec 23, 2014 10:19am

A self confessed celebrity terrorist and mass murderer who has over the years killed over a 100 people i cluding members of public civil service police etc but remains untouchable because he gets all those killed who prosecute him give evidence agaist him or arrest him he is what gives the terrorists the sense of invincibility his so called detention is also 5 star with full access to outside world people of minority sect are executed on his orders

he wil continue to terrorise the people of pakistan and has stong backing from religious pressure groups and politicians

Zubaida Khan Dec 23, 2014 10:22am

No one had a cell phone with a voice recorder? Why did the government arrest him without evidence?

nk Dec 23, 2014 10:35am

I can't imagine such people being set free in any other civilized country of the world! Please act before such people spread their message of hate and indoctrinate more innocent minds and make them into fanatics.

A. Mangal Dec 23, 2014 10:43am

If there was "probable cause" per law enforcement authorities requesting detention extended, Malik Ishaq's detention was fully justified, however the judiciary especially at LHC practices the laissez-faire rule of law where no intervention needed when comes to releasing hard core criminals. I seriously doubt if honouurable justices understand the meaning of "probable cause" in the rule of law!

Karrar Dec 23, 2014 10:44am

Actions speak louder than words Mr. PM, Mr. CM....Cowards!

Ahmad Dec 23, 2014 11:14am

So the Punjab Government decided to not pursue the detention case against Ishaq. And then PMLN claims to be the champion against the terrorists. They are just liars and nothing else.

Ali Ibrahim Dec 23, 2014 11:23am

As the purge begins, the govt. is letting go of its "strategic assets". After Lakhvi, Malik Ishaq set to roam free.

imtiaz Dec 23, 2014 11:26am

Another 'good Muslim terrorist' leader Malik Ishaq released (rather unleased) after Zaki ur Rahman Lakhvi (26/11 fame Pakistani hero with Hafiz Saeed) since Peshawar carnage.

Message is loud and clear, army will keep it's 'strategic assets' of breeding vipers (policy of 3 decades) to bite neighbours. If vipers come back to bite us like boomerang occasionally (60,000 Pakistanis killed), tough luck, that's collateral damage and we'll bear the costs.

muhammad Dec 23, 2014 11:27am

If anybody has any doubts about this known terrorist Malik Ishaq kindly Google and you will find horrifying accounts of his brutalities and how judges have been reacting whenever he was presented before courts

Mehtab Dec 23, 2014 11:29am

Freeing terrorists in such a way and this spineless government is claiming that it fights terrorism. I doubt if there is any clear government strategy to bring terrorists to the justice.

wizarat Dec 23, 2014 11:36am

And this is the guy who had openly in the court confessed of killing 141 Shia Muslims and vowed to do more killing and the PML N government let him go. I wonder if a Police muqabla is in the offing.

Naved Dec 23, 2014 11:53am

Everybody knows who is Malik Ishaq and what he has done. It's an open secret. Govt. has facilitated for his release by not producing any evidence against him.

Dr. Syed Dec 23, 2014 11:57am

Shame on the judges and the justice system of Pakistan and the government that allowed it.

Paggri sanbhaal Dec 23, 2014 12:08pm

Great decision by our brave judges.It also shows that whatever the circumstances would be the judges and the government would never be changed.

Tahir Dec 23, 2014 12:16pm

That sums up government's seriousness...

countryman Dec 23, 2014 12:16pm

my lord, how many more innocent blood will convince you of the guilt of this fanatic? and when will the mian jee govt produce the evidence? govt, judges and terrorist all work in sync to terrorize the hapless people of Pakistan

Khwaja Dec 23, 2014 12:20pm

Perhaps with a prime purpose.

Irshad Dec 23, 2014 12:22pm

Another good will gesture by Punjab Govt. for killers.

Adnan Khan Dec 23, 2014 12:23pm

The smile on the face of this terrorist is salt of wounds of all who have lost their love ones by these brutal so called humans.

SAM Dec 23, 2014 12:23pm

What a Shame....

Jad Dec 23, 2014 12:31pm

Hanging suspended, Malik Ishaq released, is this the way to fight terrorism by this gov.?

AJ Dec 23, 2014 12:41pm

Wow, what a contradiction to the statements of Federal and Provincial Government. God bless our judiciary system.

tric Dec 23, 2014 12:42pm

"Anticipating an adverse decision by the board, the secretary opted to withdraw the appeal". Wow Wow. What a justification by Government. Now we know how much the government is serious in tackling the terrorism issue.. & We wonder why Army intervenes in our affairs..

Aakashvaani Dec 23, 2014 12:51pm

See, wasn't that simple? Now declare him a mujahid and a honourable citizen of Pakistan so that the guy can get on with whatever he does best. Why waste everybody's time whinging about how Pakistan is worst affected by terrorism.

Junaid Dec 23, 2014 12:52pm

The board observed the government had failed to produce convincing evidence in support of its argument that he was known for delivering hate speeches at religious gatherings.

How convenient!!!!!!

Parvez Dec 23, 2014 01:30pm

The Mrime Minister says one thing...... but his governments actions shows something else.

InsiderMind Dec 23, 2014 01:30pm

Coward Government and Judges. It only shows how serious they are in fighting terrorism. So this was one of their "Good terrorists"?

Realist Dec 23, 2014 01:58pm

So it depends if the terrorist has killed whom and where to be considered a terrorist. Seems acceptable to me. All countries in the world do that. Why should Pakistan be any different?

Amarnath Dec 23, 2014 02:09pm

oh... so the cherrypicking has begun!

army gets to keep its favourite gems

Gypsy Dec 23, 2014 02:10pm

Its a shame and entirely in contrast to govt's claims of curbing terrorism. Malik Ishaq is a well know terrorist who proudly accepts killing of 100s of persons of minority sects. If this guy is released, than all in the jails must be released as well.

Sarfraz Dec 23, 2014 02:17pm

I am not in favor or against him. He, and for that matter anyone, remains innocent as long as he is not convicted by court of law. Why this hue and cry?

navas Dec 23, 2014 03:01pm

this shows Govt's intentions .People lives in fool's paradise who believe in govt and Army.

Shazzay Dec 23, 2014 03:27pm

Another Black Day.

M.Saeed Dec 23, 2014 03:48pm

The toothless judiciary !

Voice of Human Justice Dec 23, 2014 03:56pm

@Sarfraz If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. - Desmond Tutu

S. Haider Dec 23, 2014 04:17pm

Malik Ishaq has blood of many hundreds Shias, Hazaras, and Ahmadis on his hands. He is the mental and operational leader of the banned Laskare Jhangvi. How serious is the will of Punjab Govt. to fight terrorism?

ailly Dec 23, 2014 04:17pm

so - apparently - this guy will use his connections in an effort to safeguard the PM/ CM and their family from a possible backlash by cowards.

Muhammed Ali Dec 23, 2014 04:34pm

Another weak show by the govt appeasement will get you no where..

kojmu Dec 23, 2014 05:19pm

I have a question. Why wasnt there as widespread condemnation,operations and hangings etc, after the shia attacks and thousands other attacks which have killed more then 60,000 people? Has the fire finally got to the Army and Politicions themselves before they have decided to take revenge? I guarantee you if that school had been full of Hazara, Christian or Ahmadiya children, there would have been the usual announcements and no action as action is being carried out now. And now leader of one of the most dangerous groups against shia has been released. 'Protection and full rights for minorities' my foot!

Iqbal Dec 23, 2014 05:29pm

@Sarfraz Because he's the head of a banned militant outfit. Professed to killing 104 people in 1997 in a urdu daily. Has such close contacts with Taliban, he was flown to GHQ on Kiyani's request for help with the GHQ attack.

In short, he's the worst criminal. But the biggest criminals in Pakistan have no incriminating evidence against them. Hence the hue and cry.

SKD Dec 23, 2014 05:48pm

@Sarfraz How many more murders u want till his conviction?

M. Siddique Dec 23, 2014 05:58pm

Get another order to detain him. These terrorists don't have any rules, why should they be given the protection of our rules.

nadeem Dec 23, 2014 06:03pm

i am disgusted of his release

Amit Dec 23, 2014 06:10pm

Malik will become hero and Idle of the young generation! With that anyone can predict the future of Pakistan!

M. Emad Dec 23, 2014 06:18pm

Pakistan establishment has other thing in mind.

Ashraf Choudhry Dec 23, 2014 09:37pm

Increase the security of Colleges.

Danish Haider Dec 23, 2014 11:21pm

Clearly the justice not only delayed but denied as well. Govt; Courts and Judges failed to do the justice.

Peshawar Carnage has united the nation aginst any sort of terrorism. What is the verdict of Public Court?

Red Dawn Dec 24, 2014 12:27am

@Ali Ibrahim I am waiting fro Akram Lahori's release. I expect by the rate we are releasing terrorists right, left and centre, soon he should be out and butchering people up!

JG Dec 27, 2014 12:46pm

Shame on government of Pakistan. On one hand they are on war against terrorist on other hand they help terrorist to escape.