Terrorist too has fundamental rights? Yes, says Lakhvi’s lawyer in court

Pak terrorist may walk free again due to possible Pak govt’s complicity

GN Bureau | December 30, 2014




Was Pakistan fooling India when it slapped Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) against Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the key planner of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks?

The Islamabad High Court issued an interim order to release Lakhvi. The orders, issued by Justice Noor ul Haq Qureshi, said that the Pakistan government's detention order against Lakhvi was illegal because he had been granted bail by an anti-terror court and the anti-terror court's decision could not be quashed by a regular court.

During Monday’s hearing, Lakhvi’s counsel Rizwan Abbasi said that the court had previously accepted his client’s bail, but it was the administration that had detained him which was unlawful. He said that grant of bail was an issue of fundamental rights.

The law is clear but it seems that the Pakistani government scripted a drama of MPO against Lakhvi and buy time as India had lodged strong protest at the manner in which Lakhvi was granted bail.

A question that needs to be asked is did Pakistani government know about the supremacy of the anti-terror law and its court? If the government lawyer knew about this anti-terror court order superseding ordinary court law then why did the administration detain Lakhvi under MPO?

Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Zaidi on December 18 had granted bail to Lakhvi in the Mumbai attack case citing lack of evidence against him, but before he could be released from jail, the government detained him for three more months under MPO.

The Pakistan government had even promised to file a plea challenging Lakhvi's bail but failed to do so as it could not get a copy of the anti-terrorism court's order. Lakhvi had also submitted an application seeking an end to his detention.

Meanwhile, Lakhvi is set to walk free from the Adiala Jail on Tuesday, despite strong protests lodged by the Indian government in this regard. The Indian government had on Monday summoned the Pakistani envoy in Delhi to ‘convey concern’ over the conditional release of Lakhvi.

Lakhvi is facing the charges of imparting training and giving instructions to the 10 terrorists who carried out the attacks in India's financial capital, leaving 166 people dead. Lakhvi, who was the operations commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, was charged along with six others in 2009 in the Mumbai attack case. Ajmal Kasab and David Headley had identified Lakhvi as the operations mastermind for the 26/11 terror attack.

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