26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi walks free; Rajnath terms it unfortunate

New Delhi, April 10: This could once again bring bad blood back between two countries-India and Pakistan. Reportedly, 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi has been released from Adiala jail in Pakistan.

Read more: Pakistan stares at another coup over Lakhvi

This has come to fore a day after the Pakistani Court ordered that Lakhvi must be released from prison. The court had said that his detention is an illegal act.

Lakhvi released from jail

Voicing concern over the release of top Lashkar leader , Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India wants talks with Pakistan but the release of the Mumbai attack mastermind is an "unfortunate and disappointing" development. "India wants talks with Pakistan but the present development (release of Lakhvi) is unfortunate and disappointing," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Lucknow.

The Lahore High Court on Thursday ordered the immediate release of Mumbai terror attack's alleged mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, evoking strong reaction from the Indian government which said "terrorists not being effectively prosecuted" constitutes a real security threat to the country as well as the world.

The court dismissed the detention orders of Lakhvi, one of the key accused in the terror siege and ordered his immediate release, Dawn online reported.

Read more: Pakistan court grants bail to 26/11 mastermind Lakhvi; India summons Pak envoy

The court was hearing a petition by Lakhvi challenging his fourth one-month detention ordered by the Punjab government last month.

The Punjab government had previously maintained the stance that Lakhvi was detained based on "sensitive information" provided by intelligence agencies.

India's external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said India's concerns on the matter have been made known to Pakistan in the past.

"The fact is that known terrorists not being effectively prosecuted constitutes a real security threat for India and the world," he said.

The Pakistani court's move also "erodes the value of assurances repeatedly conveyed to us with regard to cross border terrorism", Akbaruddin added.

Know about whole issue

Lakhvi is among the seven people charged with planning and helping carry out the 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.

Justice Anwarul Haq directed the government's counsel to submit records of the information to the court, which was also presented in the Islamabad High Court in the past, based on which the Islamabad High Court ordered Lakhvi's bail.

The Lahore High Court upheld the stance that if this sensitive information was reliable, the Islamabad High Court would not have accepted Lakhvi's bail.

Therefore, the Lahore High Court ordered Lakhvi's release based on the lack of reliability of the sensitive information provided and directed Lakhvi to pay Pakistani Rs.20 lakh (around $2,000) in surety bonds to the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi where he is lodged.

It was the second time within a month, when Pakistani courts dismissed the detention orders of Lakhvi.

After the Islamabad High Court last month declared the detention orders of Lakhvi as illegal and ordered his immediate release, India had summoned the Pakistani envoy in New Delhi to convey its outrage.

India had also taken strong exception to the bail granted to Lakhvi last year, days after the December 16 terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.

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.


(With inputs from agencies)

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