Lakhvi bail order perverts justice

DC
Published Dec 20, 2014, 6:58 am IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 5:57 am IST
The Pakistan government does not register outrage at the court order
Mumbai attacks handler Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi (Photo: AFP/File)
 Mumbai attacks handler Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi (Photo: AFP/File)

How’s that for timing? On Tuesday, one of the most inhuman acts in the annals of terrorist violence is perpetrated in Peshawar when gunmen shot around 130 schoolchildren in cold blood.

The world reacts with horror. India grieves. Schoolchildren in this country observe two minutes’ silence to mourn the dead.

 

But on Thursday, an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad frees on bail Lashkar-e-Tayyaba’s top commander, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the man who planned the 2008 attack on Mumbai which took 166 lives.

The killer-commander is on the UN wanted list. Still, the Pakistan government does not register outrage at the court order.

The government cannot overturn the court’s action, but its representatives can express themselves, if necessary through appeal at a higher judicial level.

The Pakistani prosecutor has now said that Islamabad has decided to challenge the trial court’s decision in the high court.

 

Our Parliament held on Friday that the court may not have taken the view it did if in the last six years the Pakistan government had not betrayed its casual attitude towards the Mumbai attack by taking inordinately long in going about the business of gathering evidence for a crime that was planned inside Pakistan and whose execution was controlled from its territory.

Prime Minister Modi informed the House that India had conveyed to Pakistan its perception of the bail verdict. He also conveyed the nation’s mood when he said Indians had been pained by the Peshawar tragedy no less than the people of Pakistan.

 

This is an opening to the people of Pakistan from the people of this country. We can only hope good sense prevails and Islamabad reverses its vile course of statecraft in which extremism is encouraged to further the ends of state policy.

The political class in Pakistan has sought a week’s time to take appropriate decisions that would permit the country to move against terrorists.

It may be necessary to point out that this gigantic task does not end with eliminating terrorists but by implementing policies that strike at the ideological roots of terrorism.

 

The education system has to be then suitably re-geared. The relationship between the country and its Army will need to be reoriented.

The country’s politicians and its society are also invited to re-visit the “good Talibanbad Taliban” syndrome.

Next Monday external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj will inform the House about what Islamabad does following the lodging of a strong protest by India against the bail in Lakhvi’s case. But her work is cut out. We must speak to the world about these matters right away.

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