Alarm bells over Daesh franchises

ISI official kidnapped and murdered in Multan 

Alarm bells over Daesh franchises
A new challenge and indeed more questions were thrown up on the possible presence of Daesh or ISIS in Pakistan with the discovery of the body of a man with ominous writing in Multan on March 4.

The victim was identified as Syed Omar Jillani, an inspector of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who was abducted a little over two years ago in June 2014. He was dressed in something that mimicked a Guantanamo Bay jumpsuit, which bore writing on the back that said:

‘Daesh Al-bakistan’ and “Inspector Omar Mobeen Jillani, spy of the ISI, kidnapped on 16 June 2014.”

At Nishtar Hospital, a post mortem revealed that he was hit by five bullets, two in the back and one each in the head, right arm and left leg.

Jillani was the son of an ex-civil servant, Zahid Hussain Jillani, who had served as the director-general of the Cholistan Development Authority. He was also the nephew of former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.

Records show he was kidnapped from Garden Town, Multan. Police and other law-enforcing agencies carried out an extensive search operation at that time and took a number of suspects into custody. Sources in the law-enforcement agencies claim Jillani had taken part in the operation against the Punjabi Taliban. They say abductors had demanded the release of 25 hardcore terrorists in exchange for him. An operation to secure his release left four suspected terrorists dead.

The government has said that ISIS has no presence in Pakistan. In a sense, one theory supports the government’s stance. It is that Daesh is working with existing groups.

“Daesh does not have an organised structure in Pakistan,” maintains Sindh Counter-Terrorism Department SSP Omar Shahid. “It is working as a franchise model. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jamaat ul Ahrar have been working for Daesh.”

Sources also claim Jillani was shifted to Pakistan from Afghanistan a few days back. It is suspected that some members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had joined Daesh in Khorasan and the purpose was to give support Daesh in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“South Punjab is a hub of terrorism,” says analyst Ayesha Siddiqa, referring to the case. “LeJ is one of the groups attached with Daesh. The youngsters came back from Syria and Afghanistan after training. They are working for Daesh.”

His brother-in-law posted on Facebook this note: “My dearest beloved brother-in-law Syed Omar Jillani, [was] martyred by the despicable Daesh ISIS, today. He was in Daesh custody since June 2014. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Sher Ali is an investigative journalist