Police have a sneaking fear
ISLAMABAD, June 8: Appearance of Malik Ishaq, a feared leader of outlawed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, in neighbouring Rawalpindi sent the capital police scurrying on Friday to arrest him if he tried to sneak into Islamabad.
Only the previous night the Islamabad administration had banned his entry into Islamabad under the Anti-Terrorism Act for a week, after police intelligence said the fiery leader planned to address a congregation in some mosque of the city.
A senior police officer told Dawn that Malik Ishaq arrived in Rawalpindi three days ago from his native town of Rahim Yar Khan.
On Friday morning, he left for Wah Cantonment to attended a religious gathering and returned to Khayaban-i-Sir Syed locality of Rawalpindi where he had been staying.
The Loi Bher police, meanwhile, detained the imam of a mosque in CBR Town in the suburbs where, intelligence said, Malik Ishaq might address the Isha congregation. But the imam appeared ignorant of such a plan.
However, the police hierarchy took no chances and deployed contingents, including Anti-Riot Unit, and Anti-Terrorism Squad, at all the entry points of the capital to intercept Malik Ishaq, and arrest him if he somehow succeeds in sneaking through.
Some mosques in G-9 sector and CBR Town and the Lal Masjid were also put under police watch. Reinforcements were rushed to Lal Masjid late Friday night after unconfirmed sighting of Malik Ishaq there. The mosque’s spokesman, Ihtasham Ahmed, told Dawn that police had cordoned off the area.
“Because mobile phone communication in the area has been jammed, it is difficult for me to know if Malik Ishaq is there. But my contacts outside the mosque deny he is there,” he said.