Lakhvi release: India conveys outrage, summons Pak envoy

NEW DELHI, Mar 13: An “outraged” India today summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner here to lodge a strong protest against a Pakistani court order to release LeT terrorist and Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and said freeing him will pose a threat which “cannot be ignored”.

The officiating Foreign Secretary Anil Wadhwa summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to South Block and conveyed India’s unhappiness over the order in strong words. Wadhwa is officiating as the Foreign Secretary in the absence of S Jaishankar, who is travelling with the Prime Minister.

“India today conveyed its outrage at the release of Lakhvi, one of the key accused in the Mumbai terror attacks. This goes against Pakistan’s professed commitment to combat terrorism, including its recently stated policy of not differentiating amongst terrorists,” Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said.

He further added that “If such a person, who is also a designated international terrorist by the United Nations, is released it will pose a threat that cannot be ignored.”

The matter was also “raised at high levels” in Pakistan through Indian High Commission, official sources said.

India’s reaction came within hours of the Islamabad High Court declaring as void the detention order of the LeT operations commander Lakhvi, who was also the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind, and ordering his immediate release.

After his meeting with Wadhwa, Basit said, “Lakhvi may have been granted bail, but the trial continues. We all are working to complete the trial. Let the judicial process take its course.”

Blaming Pakistan for the Islamabad High Court order to release Lakhvi, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters that Islamabad did not produce the evidence against him despite having enough of it.

“Pakistan did not present the evidence before the court…The way the case has been handled by Pakistani agencies. Our concern is Pakistan should deal with terrorists in a manner in which the whole global community is looking at,” Rijiju said, adding “There is no bad or good terrorists, a fact which has been globally accepted”.

Lakhvi and six others – Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum – have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

India has been raising its concerns over the delay in convicting perpetrators of Mumbai terror attacks. The issue was raised by Foreign Secretary Jaishankar during his meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in Islamabad recently. (PTI)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here