Islamabad, March 1:
Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi has been living a luxurious life in a jail in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi city, with access to mobile phones and internet and receiving scores of visitors every day.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operations commander Lakhvi is one of the main suspects behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which over 160 people lost their lives.
Lakhvi, 55, was indicted with six of his comrades for the Mumbai attacks, and is housed in the sprawling Adiala Jail. With the jailer’s permission, he has been provided a television set, mobile phones, and access to internet in the prison, BBC Urdu reported on Sunday.
“Lakhvi can receive any number of guests, any time of the day or night, seven days a week,” said a jail official.
No special permission is required, and his visitors are not even required to identify themselves to jail authorities, he said.
This would be unthinkable anywhere else, but elements in the Pakistani establishment are known to have provided such facilities to certain jailed militant commanders who they believe they may need in future.
Pakistan arrested Lakhvi on December 7, 2008, four days after he was named by Indian officials as one of the major suspects behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
At least 10 gunmen attacked two luxury hotels, a railway terminus, a hospital, a Jewish cultural centre and several other targets in Mumbai.
Lakhvi was arrested from a training camp of the Pakistan-based militant group LeT.
Six years later, he was in the headlines again when an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan, trying him for the Mumbai attacks, ordered his release on bail.
The ruling came a day after the December 16, 2014 school massacre in Peshawar, and at a time when the civil and military leadership were making a rare joint call for action against “all shades of terrorism”. IANS