New Delhi: A Pakistani court on Thursday granted bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, accused of conspiring the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed, raising questions over Islamabad's seriousness in tackling terrorism.
Commenting on the Pakistan court's decision, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, expressing pessimism, told a news agency that it was truly shocking to hear that Lakhvi could get bail after a ridiculously long trial.
On Lashkar-e-Toiba chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed's rally on Wednesday in which he blamed India for the attack at the Peshawar school, Tharoor said it was a typical example of denial that some people are in. “Blaming India is a pointless way out,” added the Congress MP.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader GVL Narsimha Rao, meanwhile, said that the Pakistan government has taken a very lenient view of the 26/11 accused. "This raises concern about Pakistan's sincerity," he added.
Samajwadi Party national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav said he would not be surprised if someday he gets to know that Lakhvi was "walking free; bail might just have been given on papers".
Lakhvi's bail came a day after Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to "clean this region of terrorism” in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre in which at least 132 students and 16 staffers were killed by Taliban militants.
Shaken by the Taliban terror attack, Pakistan has also pledged to announce a "national plan" to tackle terrorism within a week.
Lakhvi and six others had filed bail applications yesterday even as lawyers were observing strike to condemn the terrorist attack on the school in Peshawar.
The FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) prosecutor disagreed with the bail request, however advocate Rizwan Abbasi, the lawyer representing Lakhvi, stood before the court as the bail was approved, the Dawn reported.
The seven accused - Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum - are facing trial at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.