Muslim Militant chief Maulana Azhar who master minded Bahawlpur Church attack set free in Pakistan. PCP Report.
16 Dec 2002
Lahore. December 15. Chief of banned Jaish e Mohammad, a militant organization, Maulana Mohammad Masood Azhar, nominated as masterminded in the St Dominic church Bahawalpur attack killing 17 innocent Christian worshipers on October 29, 2001 was set f
Maulana Masood azhar was arrested by the Punjab Police in December 2001 after the Attack on church at Bahawalpur when Jaish e Mohammad have openly accepted the responsibility of Christian Massacre by the fax messages to the Multan based Newspapers. Maulana Mohammad Masood Azhar is resident of Bahawalpur City and started his militancy with banned Lashkare e Jangvi and declared his own Muslim militant group Jaish e Mohammad with the help of ISI Inter services Intelligence of Armed Forces of Pakistan to extend his militancy in Kashmir. He was arrested by the Indian government and jailed from there he was released after Jaish e Mohammad hijacked an Indian airplane and landed it at Kandhar city of Afghanistan where the Taliban government bargained his freedom on exchange of hijacked passengers.
The District Police Officer DPO of Bahawalpur adopted linen attitude before the Three Member Board of Review to extend the detention of Maulana Azhar and made a way for his release, which seemed that a deal have been undertaken by the authorities when many FIRs have been on record against Maulana Azhar. Instead of sending him to jail this powerful militant leader was under house arrest from December 2001.
The last FIR lodged against Maulana Azhar was in December 2001 after the St. Dominic Church massacre when hundred were rounded up by the Bahawalpur police in connection with the Christians killing on pressure of the Christians of Pakistan and international communities but non of terrorist was brought to justice by the government of Punjab. The four nominated members of Jaseh e Mohammad militia in the Christians massacre were killed in Bahawalpur District vicinity in so called police encounter when the members of this group tried to free the four arrested militants from police custody to put a close to the case .
After the MMA victory in election 2002 and handing over the power in both border provinces of Afghanistan, the NWFP and Balouchistan, by the Parvez Mushraf Government, to the Alliance of religious parties MMA, the release of Maulana Mohammad Masood azhar is not a big surprise to the Christians of Pakistan.