Pakistan Extends Detention of Militant Leader

Posted October 26th, 2011 at 6:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Pakistan on Wednesday extended the detention of two Sunni militant leaders for an additional 60 days.

Officials said Malik Ishaq, who was arrested last month under a public order aimed at preventing sectarian unrest in the country, and Ghulam Rasool Shah, will spend an additional 60 days behind bars.

Ishaq is a founder of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group banned by the Pakistani government. He spent 14 years in prison on charges of inciting sectarian violence, including the killing of minority Shi'ites, before being released in July.

In an unrelated development, Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf criticized a recent comment by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that Afghanistan would side with Pakistan in the event of war with the United States.

While Mr. Musharraf thanked the Afghan leader for making what he called a “pro-Pakistani statement,” he called his comment “preposterous.”

Since making the statement, Mr. Karzai's spokesman has been trying to explain it and has even suggested it was “misinterpreted” by the Pakistani media.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States have been strained since U.S. special forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in a May 2 raid in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

Pakistan was not informed of the military operation in advance and condemned the raid as a violation of its sovereignty.