Malik Ishaq, leader of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) — which had claimed responsibility for last weekend’s blast in Quetta that killed over 100 people — was taken into custody in the southern Punjab district of Rahim Yar Khan on Friday. Prior to the arrest, Ishaq told the media that he was not involved in the blast or any other case of sectarian violence.
Police did not specify the precise grounds on which he was arrested. This is not the first time the LeJ has claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack and the whereabouts of Ishaq are well known as he has addressed gatherings in several parts of Punjab in the past.
In fact, just before he was taken into custody from his residence, Ishaq addressed the media under the banner of the Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) of which he is the vice-chairman. The ASWJ is the name Sipah-e-Sahaba took after it was banned by former President Pervez Musharraf.