India fumes after Pakistan court grants bail to Mumbai terror attack accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi

DC/PTI
Published Dec 18, 2014, 11:47 pm IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 6:12 am IST
Bail granted to Lakhvi unfortunate, I hope Pakistan will appeal against decision: Rajnath Singh
Bail granted to Lakhvi unfortunate, I hope Pakistan will appeal against decision, says Rajnath Singh. (Photo: PTI/DC)
 Bail granted to Lakhvi unfortunate, I hope Pakistan will appeal against decision, says Rajnath Singh. (Photo: PTI/DC)

New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday blamed Pakistan for the bail granted to Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, saying there might be some shortcomings on the part of the prosecution in taking forward the case.

Terming the bail to Lakhvi as "very unfortunate" as it came just two days after the terror attack in Peshawar where over 130 schoolchildren were killed, he hoped that the Pakistan government will approach a higher court against the lower court order and ensure its cancellation.

 

"There might be some shortcomings on the part of the Pakistan government somewhere or could be due to some other reasons (the bail was granted)," he said at a hurriedly-called press briefing, hours after a Pakistani court gave bail to LeT operations commander Lakhvi, currently lodged at a jail.

According to Lakhvi's counsel advocate Raja Rizwan Abbasi, bail was granted as "evidence against Lakhvi was deficient".

Read: Lack of evidence? Pakistan court grants bail to 26/11-accused and LeT boss Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi

Singh said India had pursued the Mumbai attacks case meticulously and that resulted in fast trial and delivery of justice to the case with the hanging of one of the terrorists Ajmal Kasab. "But it is not happening in Pakistan. We have given enough evidence against the terrorists," he said.

 

Singh said that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had asserted that operations against terror elements will continue in his country till terrorism ends. "So, I hope that the Pakistan government will appeal in a higher court so that Lakhvi's bail is cancelled," he said.

The Home Minister also demanded that India's most wanted terrorists, including Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Sayeed, should be handed over to it. "Pakistan should hand over our most wanted terrorists. This has been our continuous stand," he said.

Singh said he would speak to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj so that New Delhi takes up the issue with Islamabad strongly.

Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's conversation with his Pakistani counterpart in the aftermath of the Peshawar incident, he said Modi did whatever a Prime Minister should do after such a tragedy. "Not only people of Pakistan, but people of India are equally hurt over the killings of so many innocent children," he said. Replying a question about Hafiz Sayeed's threat to India, Singh said "India is not scared of any threat".

 

An outraged India said that the bail was 'unacceptable' and demanded immediate steps for reversal of the decision. In a sharp reaction to the bail granted to 54-year-old UN-designated terrorist by a Rawalpindi court, New Delhi told Islamabad that there could be no selective approach to terrorism, emphasising that it should realise that no compromise can ever be made with terrorists.

"We cannot accept that LeT's chief operation commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, one of the key conspirators of the Mumbai terror attacks in which so many innocent people were slaughtered, a person designated as an international terrorist by the UNSC, is being released on bail," external affairs ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said. 

 

Meanwhile, India is working with its mission in Pakistan to prepare a strong response against granting of bail to LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, one of the masterminds of the 2008 terror attack.

 

Within hours of an Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi granting bail to Lakhvi, one the seven Pakistani nationals accused of planning and abetting the Mumbai terror attacks, sources said the government here started working along with its mission in Islamabad on a strong response against the court verdict.

Read: Faces of terror: The men behind horrific attacks

Lakhvi, who was the operational head of the banned Laskhar—e—Taiba, was one of the key planners of the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.

His release from jail comes a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledged to announce a “national plan” to tackle terrorism within a week, saying “this entire region” should be cleansed of terrorism.

 

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