Pak­istan court re­mands Mumbai at­tacks mas­ter­mind

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

A Pak­istani court Tues­day re­manded the al­leged mas­ter­mind of the 2008 Mumbai at­tacks in po­lice cus­tody for two days in a kid­nap­ping case, a day after another court ap­proved his re­lease.

It is the lat­est round in a twoweek tussle over the de­ten­tion of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, ac­cused over the ter­ror siege in In­dia’s com­mer­cial cap­i­tal. The af­fair has wors­ened al­ready tense ties with In­dia.

The at­tacks which left 166 peo­ple dead were blamed on banned Pak­istani mil­i­tant group Lashkare- Taiba ( LeT). In­dia has long seethed at Pak­istan’s fail­ure ei­ther to hand over or pros­e­cute those ac­cused of plan­ning and or­ga­niz­ing the vi­o­lence.

Lakhvi and six other sus­pects have been charged in Pak­istan but their cases have made vir­tu­ally no progress in more than five years.

A court granted Lakhvi bail on Dec. 18, draw­ing an angry re­sponse from In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

After that rul­ing, au­thor­i­ties de­tained him un­der a pub­lic or­der law. But on Mon­day a judge sus­pended his de­ten­tion and set bail terms.

At Tues­day’s hear­ing po­lice In­spec­tor Mo­ham­mad Ar­shad told the court Lakhvi was ac­cused of kid­nap­ping a man six and a half years ago.

The court re­manded Lakhvi in po­lice cus­tody for two days for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, court of­fi­cials and de­fense lawyer Rizwan Ab­basi told re­porters.

Lakhvi was brought to court sur­rounded by po­lice com­man­dos and para­mil­i­tary Rangers. Dozens of po­lice and Rangers were de­ployed out­side the build­ing and on its rooftop.

Ab­basi ac­cused the au­thor­i­ties of trump­ing up the kid­nap­ping charge to keep Lakhvi in jail and avoid a ma­jor diplo­matic in­ci­dent with In­dia.

“My client was granted bail by an anti-ter­ror­ism court on De­cem­ber 18, but the same day the gov­ern­ment ar­rested him un­der pub­lic or­der law,” he told re­porters.

“Yes­ter­day the high court sus­pended that de­ten­tion or­der and the mo­ment that or­der was sus­pended, be­fore the re­lease of my client, he was ar­rested in a fake kid­nap­ping case.”

Pak­istan, long ac­cused of qui­etly tol­er­at­ing mil­i­tant groups that tar­get arch-ri­val In­dia, has promised to crack down on all ter­ror groups after a Tal­iban school mas­sacre killed 150 — mainly chil­dren.

But Ja­maat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion seen as a front for LeT, op­er­ates openly in the coun­try and its lead­ers fre­quently ap­pear on TV de­liv­er­ing fiery speeches against In­dia.

JuD spokesman Nazir Ahmed ac­cused the Pak­istan gov­ern­ment of cav­ing in to pres­sure from the United States and In­dia in try­ing to keep Lakhvi in jail.

The Is­lam­abad High Court’s or­der on Mon­day sus­pend­ing Lakhvi’s de­ten­tion drew a sharp re­sponse from In­dia, which sum­moned the Pak­istani en­voy in New Delhi to protest.

In­dia has long ac­cused Pak­istani in­tel­li­gence agen­cies of hav­ing had a hand in the Mumbai at­tacks, a charge de­nied by Is­lam­abad.

AP

Pak­istani se­cu­rity per­son­nel es­cort Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, cen­ter, al­leged mas­ter­mind of the 2008 Mumbai at­tacks, as he leaves the court in Is­lam­abad on Tues­day, Dec. 30.

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