ISLAM NAGAR, Pakistan -- The deal saw one of Pakistan's most feared militants walk from jail apparently in exchange for his commitment to nonviolence, help in reining in other fighters and possibly delivering the votes of his followers.
Supporters showered Malik Ishaq with rose petals when he left the prison in the eastern city of Lahore in July. Days later, he was preaching murderous hatred toward minority Shiites to crowds of cheering Sunnis, energizing a network whose members have joined al-Qaida for terror strikes. That was too much for Pakistani authorities, who arrested him again last month.
Pakistan has a well-documented history of trying to coopt or strike deals with militants of various causes, and a close examination of the Ishaq case shows how that can play out.