LONDON (Staff Report) – Malik Ishaq – leader of the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi – who was killed in an alleged police encounter, intended to enter politics in Punjab, the BBC Urdu has reported .

After spending four years in jail, Ishaq had planned to disassociate himself from extremist activities and join politics. Two people played important role in convincing Ishaq to enter politics – ASWJ leader Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and a PML-N minister from Punjab.

Ludhianvi held several meetings with Ishaq in Kot Lakhpat Jail, and delivered him messages besides offers of joining mainstream politics in Punjab by the minister. Ishaq did agree to the proposals.

Later on, he gained the membership of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) and joined its Shoora. However, disagreements arose between Ishaq and Ludhianvi over militant views of the former. This resulted in expulsion of the former from ASWJ. It was not only confined to mere arguments, but killings of party workers on both sides. Resultantly, both the factions of ASWJ parted their ways and had been working separately.

Malik Ishaq, along with his sons, were killed in an alleged police encounter in Muzaffargarh yesterday (Wednesday). But his death has raised many questions not only about the fate of LeJ but also the ASWJ, the religio-political party of Sunnis in Pakistan.