26/11 trial: LeT operations commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi gets bail, India calls it 'unfortunate'
Reacting to the bail granted by a Pakistani court on Thursday to LeT operations commander and a key planner of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the move was 'unfortunate'.
Delhi: Reacting to the bail granted by a Pakistani court on Thursday to LeT operations commander and a key planner of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the move was 'unfortunate'.
Talking to reporters in the national capital the Home Minister said, "It is unfortunate that the person involved in 26/11 attacks has got bail. PM Sharif had announced a crackdown on terror.”
He added that there may have been a “lapse from the Pakistan government's side”.
Rajnath maintained that India had provided enough evidence on 26/11 attacks and it seemed that somewhere Pakistan had not done its bit.
“India has provided all relevant evidences to Pakistan,” 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.
Asked about Narendra Modi's conversation with his Pakistani counterpart in the aftermath of the Peshawar incident, he said that PM 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.
On a question about Hafiz Sayeed's threat to India, Singh categorically stated that India was not scared of any threat.
On the other hand, addressing the media, official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said that India could not accept that a person designated as international terrorist was being released on bail.
“There can be no selective approach to terrorism,” he said, adding, “The grant of bail to Lakhvi will serve as a re-assurance to terrorists in Pakistan.”
Akbaruddin also emphasised that 99% evidence for 26/11 attacks was in Pakistan and the 1% that India had, had been handed to Pakistan.
In a decision that has angered India and political leaders cutting across party lines, Lakhvi was given bail by a Pakistani court today.
The irony of it was that the decision came a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said that there was 'no good Taliban and bad Taliban'. He had also vowed to rid the region of terror.
Sharif's strong reaction came after Pakistani Taliban slaughtered more than 140 people in an Army Public School in Peshawar on Tuesday, with more than 130 of them being children.
The Pakistani PM had also pledged to announce a "national plan" to tackle terrorism within a week.
The incident in Peshawar was condemned across the world with the brutality of it shocking everyone.
Meanwhile, the prosecution said today that that they will challenge the decision. "As the trial was near conclusion the Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad today granted bail to Lakhvi despite evidence against him," prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar told PTI.
As seven judges of the Mumbai case have been replaced since the start of the trial in 2009, Jutsice Kausar Abbasi Zaidi is the eighth one holding the in camera proceedings at Adiala Jail Rawalpindi due to security concerns.
"We have so far produced 46 witnesses in the court who testified against all seven accused - Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum," he said.
"After going through the court order in Lakhvi's bail case we will decide to challenge it," Azhar added, expressing surprise over the court's move to grant bail as some 15 more witnesses are yet to testify against the accused including Lakhvi.
An Interior Ministry spokesman official told PTI that the government would certainly file an appeal against the trial court's decision. "We have a strong case against the seven accused of the Mumbai terror attacks and we challenge Lakhvi's bail in the high court," said the official who requested anonymity.
The trial court has asked Lakhvi to submit surety bonds woth Rs 500,000 surety before he can be released.
Lakhvi's counsel advocate Raja Rizwan Abbasi told PTI that the court had granted bail as "evidence against Lakhvi was deficient".
On the other hand, public prosecutor in the Mumbai terror attack case Ujjwal Nikam today termed the bail granted to Lakhvi as a 'setback'
The brazen terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 had left 166 dead, including foreigners.
It may be recalled that gunmen riding a motorcycle had shot dead senior prosecutor in the 26/11 and Benazir Bhutto assassination cases, Chaudhry Zulfizar Ali, in the busy commercial area of Karachi in Islamadad last year.
With Agency inputs