LeJ co-founder escapes execution at Pak jail

LeJ co-founder escapes execution at Pak jail

LeJ co-founder escapes execution at Pak jail

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant group's co-founder Ikramul Haq alias Akram Lahori today escaped being hanged at a jail in Pakistan after his family reached an 11th-hour "compromise" with the complainant.

Ghulam Mustafa, counsel for Lahori, said his family approached the complainant after black warrants for his execution was issued and the "two sides have reached a compromise" and his execution at Kot Lakhpat jail here has been delayed.

An anti-terrorism court at Faisalabad had given the death sentence to Lahori in connection with the Shorkot killings in Imam Bargh in 2011 and issued his death warrants a couple of days ago.

Lahori was also named in more than 21 killing cases including the assassination of Imtiaz Haider -- the brother of former federal minister Moeenuddin Haider -- and attacks on Iranian cadets in Islamabad and the murder of Iranian diplomat Sadiq Ganji.

A leader of the Muthidda Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), a Shia organisation, said that who played the role in delaying the execution of Lahori, who is also accused of killing a number of Shias, will remain a mystery.

He dismissed reports that Lahori's family has reached an "understanding" with the families of the deceased.

"Lahori is involved in the killing of scores of people, including Iranian diplomats. How his family could reach out all of the the victims families, isn't it strange," said the Shia leader who did not want to be named.

He said it seems even the end of a moratorium on death penalty by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not enough to send "certain terrorists" to gallows.

Lahori, the commander-in-chief of LeJ, co-founded the sectarian-cum-Jihadi group in 1996 along with two other notorious militants Riaz Basra and Malik Ishaq.

Ishaq has been detained under Maintenance of Public Order after the Supreme Court accepted his bail in attack on Sri Lankan cricketers, while Riaz Basra was killed in Multan in an encounter with law enforcement agencies in May 2002.

LeJ has an extensive network of trained operatives across Pakistan who serve as al-Qaeda's muscle to carry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

He was involved in several cases of sectarian killings and handed down the death sentence for the first time in April 2003 by the Karachi Anti-Terrorist Court.

According to his confessional statement, Lahori was also involved in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, along with Sheikh Ahmed Omar Saeed.

He had also played a role in the May 8, 2002 car bombing in Karachi that killed 16 persons, including 11 French nationals.

Lahori was also involved in another bombing in Karachi on June 14, 2002 outside the US Consulate in Karachi, killing 12 people.