Mumbai attack mastermind Lakhvi walks free

Indian porest goes in vain as the Pakistani authorities fail to hold the terror leader

GN Bureau | April 10, 2015


#Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi   #Mumbai attack   #mastermind   #LeT  

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who has been accused of plotting the 2008 Mumbai attack that claimed 166 lives, walked out of Adiyala Prison in Rawalpindi on Friday.  The Lahore High Court on Thursday suspended the Punjab government’s order to detain Lakhvi under a security act and ordered his immediate release.

Lakhvi and six other suspects have been charged in Pakistan for planning and executing the Mumbai attacks, but their cases have made virtually no progress in more than five years, inciting repeated protests from India.

Delhi accuses Islamabad of prevaricating over the trials, and says it has submitted enough evidence to prove that Lakhvi is responsible for its worst-ever terror attack.

Lakhvi was first granted bail in December last, but was kept in prison by the government under a public security act after a scathing reaction from India. Prime minister Narendra Modi said the prospect of Lakhvi walking free came as "a shock to all those who believe in humanity".

The Lahore high court on Thursday said that government lawyers had failed to provide evidence to justify Lakhvi's detention, paving the way for his release, even as officials were hunting for a new route to keep him in prison. Lakhvi is a close relative of LeT founder and Jamaat-Ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed. Jamaat-ud-Dawa supporters were present outside the prison to receive Lakhvi, who later left an undisclosed location.

Voicing concern, home minister Rajnath Singh said India wants talks with Pakistan but the release of Lakhvi is an “unfortunate and disappointing” development.

Throughout the three-month Lakhvi has never been let out of the prison in Rawalpindi.

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