New Delhi, Dec 19:
India has conveyed in “clear and unambiguous terms” its concerns to Pakistan on the bail granted to key Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Friday, adding that India rejects Pakistan’s contention that there is little evidence to prosecute him and his fellow conspirators.
Sushma Swaraj, in her statement in the Lok Sabha, said that upon receiving the report of the Lakhvi bail plea, the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad contacted the Pakistan foreign ministry and made clear India’s position.
She said: “We do not accept the fact that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)’s chief operation commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who is one of the main masterminds of the Mumbai terror attacks and a person who has been designated an international terrorist by the UNSC, be released on bail.
“We reject the contention that there is inadequate evidence to prosecute him and his fellow conspirators. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Mumbai terror attack conspiracy was planned, financed, and trained for in Pakistan. 99 percent of the evidence is available in Pakistan itself, and it is the duty of Pakistan’s investigative authorities, who have had six years to collect and present the evidence required, to secure a conviction,” she said in her statement.
Referring to the terror attack on a Peshawar school, Sushma Swaraj said: “We felt the pain of the families who lost their loved ones in this massacre – It was not just innocent children who were massacred in the attack, a part of humanity was also lost on this day.”
“The grant of bail to Lakhvi makes absolute mockery of the Government of Pakistan’s professed commitment to fight terror groups without hesitation and without making false distinctions. It will only reassure those who perpetrated the recent heinous attack in Peshawar, that they too will be allowed to continue their activities unabated.
“We urge the Government of Pakistan to immediately take steps to reverse this decision. At the moment we are watching the reaction of the Pakistan authorities,” she added.
Her statement came as the Pakistan government detained Lakhvi under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) rules for three more months at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on Friday.
Pakistan has also decided to challenge the decision of Lakhvi’s bail approval in the high court.
Earlier in the day, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that the Pakistani trial in the Mumbai attacks case has been moving at a glacial pace and that the move to grant bail to Lakhvi Thursday “has taken this saga to another level”.
“We have, therefore, forthwith communicated to Pakistan through diplomatic channels our strong concerns on this matter and the sentiments across the spectrum of Indian society that that this will make a mockery of Pakistan’s commitment to fight terror groups without hesitation and without making distinctions,” he said. (IANS)