India outraged after Pakistani court frees alleged Mumbai mastermind
This triggered a strong reaction from India, and the Pakistan envoy in New Delhi was summoned to convey outrage over the court order.
India’s foreign ministry in a statement said that India summoned the Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit to lodge a formal protest over the issue
“India today conveyed its outrage to Pakistan at the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the key accused in the Mumbai terror attacks,” said spokesperson Syed Akbarudin of the ministry.
The ministry said if a person, who is also a designated international terrorist by the United Nations, is released, it will pose a threat that cannot be ignored.
Basit later told the media that Lakhvi’s trial continues and the judicial process should be allowed to take its own course.
A separate statement from India’s internal ministry said that it was “the responsibility of the Pakistan government to take all legal measures to ensure that Lakhvi does not come out of jail”.
Lakhvi and six other suspects were arrested in February 2009 over charges of “facilitating” the Mumbai terror attack. An Islamabad High Court order on December 29 last year suspended the detention but was restored soon.
Lakhvi, a top leader of the banned terrorist Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit, is on the most wanted list of India’s National Investigation Agency.
The development comes days after India’s top diplomat, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, was in Islamabad to clear way for dialogue over pending disputes between the two neighbours.
The rare visit came seven months after India called off foreign secretary level talks over Pakistan’s engagement with separatist leaders in disputed Jammu and Kashmir a Himalayan state ruled in parts but claimed in full by the two rivals.
The issue of Lakhvi’s release rocked the Indian upper house of parliament on Friday with many lawmakers urging the government to take a strong note of the development and review any engagement with the Pakistani government.