Islamabad: The failure to prosecute Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi is a failure of the Pakistani state, a newspaper said on Sunday.
"The failure to prosecute Lakhvi and his collaborators of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, of which Lakhvi is the operations commander, is not only a failure of the previous PPP-led and the present PML-N governments, it is a failure of the state," the Daily Times said in an editorial.
The editorial came after the Islamabad High Court struck down the detention order of Lakhvi, who is said to have overseen the 2008 audacious Mumbai attack that left 166 Indians and foreigners dead and brought India and Pakistan close to war.
The Daily Times said that despite the passage of more than six years, the case against Lakhvi had not been brought to a conclusion.
"Naturally, this has caused angst in New Delhi and, until recently, was the main obstacle in the restart of the Pakistan-India dialogue."
The Islamabad court said that the prosecution had failed to submit evidence to detain Lakhvi, triggering a diplomatic row between Pakistan and India.
The editorial pointed out that on May 3, 2013, the special prosecutor in the case, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, was assassinated in Islamabad.
"The perpetrators have not been found to date. It would appear logical that the assassination produced a reluctance amongst the lawyers community to be associated with the prosecution of the case."
The daily criticized the "ineptness with which the state prosecutors have pursued the case".
"It boggles the mind to think that Lakhvi and company, perhaps because they still enjoy the `patronage` of powerful institutions, can hold Pakistan, India and the world hostage to their nefarious ... actions."