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Lakhvi release: India summons Pak envoy, lodges strong protest

Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi

New Delhi: An “extremely upset” India today summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner here and lodged a strong protest against a Pakistani court order to release LeT terrorist and Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, saying it was Islamabad’s responsibility to ensure that Lakhvi does not come out of jail.India today blamed Pakistan for an Islamabad court ordering release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, saying Islamabad did not produce the evidence against him despite having enough of it.

“Pakistan did not present the evidence before the court,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters here.

A Home Ministry spokesperson said the overwhelming evidence against Lakhvi regarding his role in the criminal conspiracy leading to the Mumbai attack has not been properly presented in the Pakistani court by the Pakistani agencies.

“This should be ensured without delay,” the spokesperson said.

Rijiju indicated that there was deliberate attempt by Pakistan to weaken the case against Lakhvi that resulted the court ordering his release.

“You can read. The way the case has been handled by Pakistani agencies. Our concern is Pakistan should deal with terrorists in a manner in which the whole global community is looking at,” he said when asked whether there was any deliberate act on the part of Pakistani agencies to weaken the case.

The strong reaction came within hours of the Islamabad High Court declaring as void the detention order of the LeT operations commander Lakhvi, who was also the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind.

“There is no bad or good terrorists, a fact which has been globally accepted, Rijiju said.

The Minister said a strong protest has already been lodged by India with Pakistan over the latest development.

“India has already lodged a strong protest with Pakistan. We (Home Ministry) have already communicated to MEA and our stand is very clear that Pakistani government must ensure that all steps are taken to prevent Lakhvi released from jail,” he said.

Justice Noorul Haq accepted 55-year-old Lakhvi’s appeal filed against his third time detention orders and ordered his immediate release.

Lakhvi and six others – Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum – have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

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