From Pak's audacity to Lakhvi's celebration: All you need to know about 26/11 mastermind's release

New Delhi, April 11: India along with many other countries including US and Israel are protesting against the release of 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi from Adiala jail in Pakistan.

Lakhvi's release: All you need to know

Political parties in India have slammed Pakistan unanimously for not doing enough to convict Lakhvi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that no country should provide shelter to terrorists but punish them.

Here are the main points you should know about the issue.

Lakhvi celebrates victory with many Pak officials

Reportedly, 26/ 11 mastermind is celebrating his release. Lakhvi was given warm welcome after he came home on Friday.

It is being said that celebrations were observed in the presence of many high profile dignitaries including Army and intelligence officers.

BJP asks Pak to appeal

Meanwhile, BJP has asked Pakistani government to appeal on the matter. Speaking on the issue, MoS for home affairs Kiren Rijiju said, "We gave evidence against Lakhvi to Pakistan. Pakistan didn't present it to the court and that is why Lakhvi had been released".

Read more: India on high alert as Lakhvi walks free

Raising intention of Pakistani government, Rijiju further said that they should use all the evidence given by India against terrorist Lakhvi. Earlier, BJP leader Sambit Patra said, "Doesn't look like Pakistan is serious about combating terrorism".

Congress raised question mark over Pak government's intention

Congress lashed out at Pakistan for its double standard approach and not acting against Lakhvi despite enough evidences.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said, "This raises questions on the intent of Pakistan government. Pakistan had been provided with enough evidence which would have led to conviction of Lakhvi". Party leader R.P.N. Singh said the BJP-led government should lodge a strong protest with Pakistan.

Pakistan again puts onus on India

Countering Indian attack, Pakistan said that it would be improper to doubt its commitment to counter terrorism after India vehemently protested Lakhvi's release.

Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Tasneem Alam said, "The case of Mumbai attack suspects is sub-judice. It would not be proper to cast aspersions on Pakistan's commitment to countering terrorism at a time when Pakistan has entered a critical stage of defeating the menace of terrorism".

Putting onus on India, she added that the "inordinate delay in extending cooperation by India complicated the case and weakened the prosecution".

US, Israel unanimously slammed Pak

US expressed grave concern over the release of LeT commander Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi from jail, saying it has repeatedly asked Pakistan to follow through on its commitment to ensure justice for the 26/11 victims.

"We are gravely concerned about the release on bail of alleged Mumbai attack mastermind Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi," State Department Acting Spokesperson Jeff Rathke told reporters at his daily news conference.

Israel's also expressed disappointment at the release "Israel is surprised and disappointed by release of Lakhvi, mastermind of 26-11 Mumbai attacks in which as part of the horrific attack also Israeli nationals and a Jewish Center - the Nariman House - were targeted," tweeted Israel's Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon.

What court had said?

The Lahore High Court on Thursday quashed Lakhvi's detention for the fourth time, ordering him to be immediately released. Lakhvi had moved the Lahore High Court, challenging his detention and claiming it to be unlawful.

His lawyers maintained in a petition that Lakhvi was being kept in custody despite higher courts ending his detention. The Lahore High Court also accepted Lakhvi's bail application, ordering his release on the submission of two bail bonds worth Pakistani Rs.1 million ($9,820) each.

What is the whole issue?

Lakhvi is among the seven people charged with planning and helping carry out the November 26, 2008, Mumbai attack that left 166 people dead.

The six other men facing trial for their alleged involvement are Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Younas Anjum, Jamil Ahmed, Mazhar Iqbal and Abdul Majid.

At the time of the Mumbai atttack, Lakhvi was believed to be the operational head of the banned Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT), accused by India of carrying out the attacks in the country's financial capital.

Lakhvi and six others were indicted for the Mumbai attacks in Pakistan on the basis of evidence provided by the Indian government.

What will be the repercussion?

According to experts, Lakhvi's release will embolden Lashkar-e-Tayiba which may attack India in coming days.
Expert, Vicky Nanjappa writes, Intelligence Bureau officials have warned that the release of Lakhvi is symbolic to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and its affiliates and they with renewed vigour may target the border areas.

Lakhvi after Hafiz Saeed is one of the most influential jihadis in Pakistan. He means a lot to the ISI for which the Lashkar is a proxy. The ISI may not have any immediate plans for him, but would expect to join the battle in Afghanistan over the months.

(With inputs from agency)

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