Put him back in jail or face the music: India's secret message to Pakistan

By: Vicky Nanjappa
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New Delhi, Dec 19: Put him back in jail or pay the price for it. This was the stern warning that India gave to the Paksitanis on the Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi issue. [Lakhvi detailed again]

The response by India to the bail granted to 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was not an ordinary one this time. To the public eye it looked like a normal appeal that the governments of the past have been making. However a phone call to Pakistan from a very senior officer warning that the release of Lakhvi would make them pay a heavy price is what made Pakistan sit up and take notice. [When Lakhvi fathered a child while in jail]


Quick action:

Since the 26/11 attack, India has made repeated pleas to Pakistan to bring to justice the masterminds of the attack. However Pakistan had taken it all too casually and not even tried the accused properly.

Repeated pleas regarding bringing to justice the masterminds, the sending of numerous dossiers were all ignored by Pakistan. They even went up to the extent of ignoring warnings by the United States of America which had held Lakhvi guilty of the charges filed in the 26/11 case.

This time it was different:

India is already facing enough concerns in Kashmir. The forces are battling it out day and night and have managed to bring about some amount of sanity in the Valley. The release of Lakhvi would have only meant that the trouble in the Valley shoots up since he is a revered commander of the Lashkar.

The Indian agencies were extremely miffed with the release of Lakhvi and in closed circles had even discussed the blatant nature of the Pakistanis. They had discussed that unless and until a stern message is passed on, the Pakistanis would not react. Just diplomacy would not work with the Pakistanis and the manner in which the prosecutor handled the case was just a sham the agency officials had discussed.

How it was handled differently:

In normal course it is the agencies which hand over information to the government which in turn deals with the matter on a diplomatic note. This time around the agencies were told to send across a stern message. A top officer passed the message that things were different this time around and Pakistan cannot get away with anything they please. Put him back in jail or face stern action is the message that was delivered.

Moreover Pakistan also acted fast because it is facing its own share of problems. On the one hand it has appealed for help to deal with the Tehrik-e-Taliban and on the other it went ahead it did little to ensure that Lakhvi did not get bail. The Indians pointed this out to them and said that they would stand isolated in their own war against terror.

Lakhvi goes beyond the judiciary:

The issue pertaining to Lakhvi is not something that is in the hands of the court alone. It is the establishment which deals with Lakhvi just the way they do with Hafiz Saeed. What the prosecution says or what goes up before the court is all vetted by the ISI or the army in Paksitan as the Lashkar is their strategic ally within the country which wages the proxy war for them. It was only once the agencies in Paksitan got the stern message from India did they once again detain him under the Maintenance of Public Order.

International pressure did little:

While it may be claimed that it was international pressure that made Pakistan blink, it was actually not the case. The international community merely expressed shock, but did not pursue the matter rigorously with Pakistan.

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