Islamabad, Dec 30: Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was today arrested in an abduction case just before his release following a Pakistani court's suspension of his detention under a public security order which had evoked a strong reaction from India.
Lakhvi was arrested on the charges of kidnapping a man named Muhammad Anwer and the FIR was registered at Golra Police Station in Islamabad. He was produced before the court of duty magistrate Malik Aman who remanded him in police custody for two days.
Lakhvi was set to be freed from the Adaila Jail Rawalpindi this morning on the order of the Islamabad High Court after he submitted Rs 1 million surety bond, but just before that the jail superintendent received an order from the government regarding his arrest in the abduction case.
Lakhvi's counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi has protested against the government's decision. The Islamabad High Court yesterday suspended the government's Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) under which Lakhvi was being held under detention, paving the way for his release. This had outraged India which lodged its strong protest by summoning Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit.
India had conveyed its "strong concern" to Pakistan over the development, saying, "there seems to be no end in sight to Pakistan remaining a safe-haven for well-known terror groups." Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Basit in New Delhi and the Indian mission in Islamabad took up the issue with the Pakistan Foreign Office.
Following today's development, Lakhvi's counsel Abbasi said, "The executive authority does not seem to accept the court's order. Arresting my client in another case is like undermining of the court's order." Islamabad High Court Judge Noorul Haq N Qureshi, while accepting Lakhvi's application challenging his detention under the MPO, yesterday suspended the government's order in this regard and directed him to submit a surety bond of Rs 1 million.
The court also asked Lakhvi to ensure his presence in every hearing of the Mumbai attacks case. The government's law officer was not present when the court gave its ruling.