LeT operations commander and Mumbai attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: In a startling revelation, the country’s premier external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, in its report to the Centre on Saturday, has informed that the release of top Lashkar-e-Tayyaba terrorist Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi has led to sharp differences within the Pakistan government.
According to the report, details of which are available with this newspaper, the Pakistan foreign office has conveyed "strong reservations" to the ministry of interior, the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence that Lakhvi’s release will have a "severe adverse impact" on diplomatic relations with India.
Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, was released from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Friday morning. According to the intelligence note, Pak agencies, including the Army and the ISI, expressed their "helplessness" since Lakhvi’s release had been ordered by the Lahore high court.
The Pakistan foreign office warned the government that the development could invite an adverse reaction from other countries, particularly the US. Incidentally, the US has already labelled Lakhvi as a global terrorist.
"The fact that there are sharp differences within the Pakistani establishment over Lakhvi’s release clearly proves that what has happened was not correct and will have serious implications for relations between the two countries. It also sends a message to the international community that Pakistan is not serious about dealing with terrorism," a senior intelligence official said.
However, Indian security agencies are certain that Lakhvi’s release has been facilitated by the Army and the ISI as they prevailed upon the prosecutor not to present strong evidence against him due to which the case against him became extremely weak. Further, even during his stay in Adiala Jail, Lakhvi had complete access to mobile phones, a laptop, his family and supporters. It is rumoured that Lakhvi even fathered a child while he was lodged inside the jail.
On their part, Indian security agencies have already started gearing up for the fresh challenge that Lakhvi’s release will pose to the country’s internal security scenario. Sources claimed that the chiefs of all top intelligence and security agencies were in constant touch with national security adviser Ajit Doval, who is currently accompanying Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his foreign tour, to put in place a mechanism for foolproof security of possible targets of subversive elements.