Hollande deeply shocked at Lakhvi's release

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Paris, Apr 10: French President Francois Hollande today said he was deeply shocked by Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi's release by Pakistan and told Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his "indignation" over the development.

Release on bail of terrorist accused of heinous crime of Mumbai terrorist attack is deeply shocking, President Hollande said. In a speech in Paris, Hollande thanked Prime Minister Modi for his "solidarity" over the Islamist attacks in the French capital in January.

Francois Hollande

"In the same vein, I express to you my indignation each time that a terrorist is freed while he still has responsibility for an abominable act," Hollande said. Earlier, terming the release of Lakhvi by Pakistan as "unfortunate", French lawmakers said the development was not good for either India or the world.

The issue came up when Prime Minister Modi met a delegation of French lawmakers, led by National Assembly President Claude Bartolone.

"One of the members of the French delegation said the unfortunate release of Lakhvi in Pakistan was not good news for either India or the world," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters while briefing on the meeting.

"The French side expressed solidarity with India on this," he added. LeT operations commander Lakhvi was released from a Pakistani jail after spending nearly six years in detention. The issue of Lakhvi's release came up in the context of discussions on cooperation in anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism, Akbaruddin said.

Responding to the French side's view, Modi told the lawmakers that the "concern you showed for India and the anguish you displayed indicates commonality of views". He said India and France have common approach towards terrorism. The Prime Minister recalled that whenever France faced any terror attack, the whole of India was worked up and there was a reciprocal response from France.

PTI

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