Pakistan’s Supreme Court has granted bail to a Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leader who is thought to have been involved in the March 3, 2009 assault on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. From Dawn:
Malik Ishaq, a leader of the banned extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, was arrested in 1997.
He has been accused of a variety of crimes, including orchestrating the attack on the cricketers, which left six security officers and a driver dead.
Over the years, the cases against Ishaq have faltered as many witnesses have been too scared to testify.
Jail official Malik Mubashar said the Supreme Court granted Ishaq bail on Monday and he was freed Thursday after he posted it.
A couple of quick points:
- Not to restate the obvious, but if Ishaq has been imprisoned since 1997, he has been plotting attack after attack while in custody.
- Ishaq won’t be the first Pakistani terrorist to have done so. The most prominent terrorist to organize attacks from prison is Sheikh Omar Saeed, the notorious Jaish-e-Mohammed commander who was involved in the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002. See LWJ reports Omar Saeed Sheikh plots assassination from Pakistani jail and New investigation into murder of Daniel Pearl released for more information on Saeed and the murder of Daniel Pearl.
- Pakistan has a very real problem keeping terrorists in jail, as this report from AKI demonstrates. Terrorists are adept at intimidating those who might testify against them.
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They have no trouble torturing and murdering journalists that they don’t like, but they treat their terrorists with kid gloves. It shows where their true leanings are; they are a bunch of terrorists in khaki and we shamefully continue to facilitate them! One of their chief terrorists just visited DC to re-swear his allegiance, and got sent back with champagne and roses. So much for our cynical faux-concern over Saleem Shahzad’s murder!
At least in the open, we can target their cars, homes, or family. In jail, we can’t even get a photograph. I would be one scared terrorist if they let me go in Pak. Then again, if he can make it 100 yards from the prison gates, he has made it too far. A car crash, a push off the road, or even a meal of bad meat are only some of the ways to eliminate this continued threat. ISI needs another field commander, and we need another missile – pronto!
The highest levels in the Pakistani civilian and military leadership play the plausible deniability game. When push comes to shove, their feeble police take these characters into custody wherefrom they continue to operate freely. At some point, the courts release them free due to lack of evidence and witnesses. No one dares come forward to testify against these murderous thugs.
The military is one institution that could break this cycle but these are also its strategic assets. Sooner or later, these will be put to good use beginning with Pakistan’s immediate neighborhood.
As long as Pakistan is in this endless perverse cycle, things will not improve for either Pakistan as a nation or for the larger world in general. Pakistanis may profess to be victims but their jihadi factories continue unabated and unchecked.
O.K., as long as a device has been implanted in him to enable us to track him from space and call in a drone strike when appropriate.
Or as long as his cohorts think this is true.