New Delhi | In a sharp reaction, India today conveyed to Pakistan its strong concern at the lack of effective action by it in the case of Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, saying there seems to be no end in sight to that country remaining a safe-haven for well-known terror groups.
India’s strong reaction came hours after the Islamabad High Court suspended the government order to detain Lakhvi under a public security order. A Pakistani court on December 18 had granted bail to Lakhvi, the LeT operations commander, sparking condemnation in India. The following day, Lakhvi was detained by Pakistani authorities for three more months, under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).
Lakhvi is among the seven Pakistani nationals accused of planning and abetting the brazen terror attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 that left 166 dead, including foreigners.
Islamabad High Court judge Noorul Haq Qureshi suspended Lakhvi’s detention under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) after hearing his lawyer’s arguments. The government’s law officer, however, did not turn up for the hearing. The court directed the government to file a reply in this regard on next hearing in the case on January 15.
India raised the issue with Pakistan — both here and in Islamabad, with Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh summoning Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and Indian mission taking it up in Islamabad with the Pakistan Foreign Office. Basit was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs by the Foreign Secretary today afternoon.
The Foreign Secretary conveyed strong concern at the lack of effective action by Pakistan’s prosecuting authorities after the Anti-Terrorism-Court ordered the release of internationally designated terrorist Lakhvi, whose involvement in the Mumbai terror attack is well known, Official Spokesperson in the MEA Syed Akbaruddin said.
It was once again conveyed that we expect the Government of Pakistan to abide by the commitment conveyed to us, including at the highest level, that expeditious steps would be taken to bring all those responsible for the heinous acts of terrorism in Mumbai to justice and that it was extremely disturbing that despite the assurances we have been receiving over the last six years, and the recent tragedies in Pakistan, there seems to be no end in sight to Pakistan remaining a safe-haven for well-known terror groups, he said.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the Pakistan Interior Ministry told Indian news agency PTI that the government might detain Lakhvi in another case. Since the release of Lakhvi from jail will draw a lot flak from the world especially India the Pakistani government may detain Lakhvi in any other case like it did in the case of LeJ chief Malik Ishaq, he said. Ishaq was remanded to judicial custody in a murder and terrorism case just before his release from a jail after government did not seek extension of his detention under the public security order.
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