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

Islamabad, Dec 29: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday ordered the conditional release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi - the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack - asking him to submit a security bond of Pakistani Rs.1 million (around $9,000), media reported.

The court issued a two-page order on Lakhvi's plea for release on bail.

Pakistan court grants bail to 26/11 mastermind Lakhvi; India summons Pak envoy.
Earlier Monday, Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi presided over the hearing of a petition filed by Lakhvi, seeking an end to his detention, Dawn online reported.

On Dec 18, Lakhvi was granted post-arrest bail by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad. However, the federal government extended his detention in the Adiala Jail under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance.

On Dec 26, Lakhvi challenged his detention in the Islamabad High Court.

During Monday's hearing, Lakhvi's counsel Rizwan Abbasi said the court previously accepted his client's bail plea, but the administration detained him, which was unlawful. He said grant of bail was an issue of fundamental rights.

After hearing counsel's arguments, the court suspended Lakhvi's detention.

Lakhvi is among the seven persons charged with planning and helping to carry out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The six other men facing trial in Adiala Jail for their alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks are Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Younas Anjum, Jamil Ahmed, Mazhar Iqbal and Abdul Majid.

At the time of the terror strikes, Lakhvi was believed to be the operational head of the banned Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) that has been accused by India of carrying out the attack in India's financial capital.

Lakhvi, along with Zarar Shah, was allegedly the key planner of the attack that killed 166 people and left over 300 injured.

India summons Pakistan envoy, conveys 'strong concern'

In a sharp reaction, India today conveyed to Pakistan its "strong concern" at the lack of effective action by it in the case of Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, saying there seems to be no end in sight to that country remaining a safe-haven for well-known terror groups.

India raised the issue with Pakistan -- both here and in Islamabad, with Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh summoning Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and Indian mission taking it up in Islamabad with the Pakistan Foreign Office.

"Basit was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs by the Foreign Secretary today afternoon. The Foreign Secretary conveyed strong concern at the lack of effective action by Pakistan's prosecuting authorities after the Anti-Terrorism-Court ordered the release of internationally designated terrorist Lakhvi, whose involvement in the Mumbai terror attack is well known," Official Spokesperson in the MEA Syed Akbaruddin said.

"It was once again conveyed that we expect the Government of Pakistan to abide by the commitment conveyed to us, including at the highest level, that expeditious steps would be taken to bring all those responsible for the heinous acts of terrorism in Mumbai to justice and that it was extremely disturbing that despite the assurances we have been receiving over the last six years, and the recent tragedies in Pakistan, there seems to be no end in sight to Pakistan remaining a safe-haven for well-known terror groups," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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