India Slams Pakistani Court's Decision Granting Bail To Mumbai Terror Mastermind

18/12/2014 7:40 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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An alleged plotter of Mumbai attacks, Pakistani Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, center, prays with Syed Salahuddin, right, chief of Hezbul Mujahedeen, or United Jehad Council, at a rally on Saturday, June 28, 2008, in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir. Pakistan has detained Zarrar Shah, another alleged mastermind of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani confirmed Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008, apparently making good on pledges to pursue the perpetrators. (AP Photo/Roshan Mughal)

India is furious at the decision by a Pakistani court to grant bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who is accused of masterminding the deadly attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, which claimed the lives of 166 people.

India has called for the Pakistan government to appeal the decision of an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad.

"I hope that this is appealed in the upper court by the Pakistani government so his bail is cancelled," Rajnath Singh, India's Home Minister, said on Thursday evening. "After Peshawar attack, providing bail to one of the main accused in the 26/11 attacks is unfortunate."

Lakhvi, 54, and six other men accused in the Mumbai attacks applied for bail on Wednesday when lawyers were on strike to condemn the killing of 148 people, including 132 children, in deadly attack on a school in Peshawar carried out by the Pakistani Taliban, a day earlier.

Lakhvi’s counsel advocate Raja Rizwan Abbasi said that the court had granted bail as “evidence against Lakhvi was deficient."

Prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar said that the government was "not expecting this decision."

The decision to grant bail came just one day Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to root out terrorism as his country mourned the loss of innocent lives.

“We have resolved to continue the war against terrorism till the last terrorist is eliminated,” Sharif told a group of politicians at the site of the Peshawar attack on Wednesday.

“We announce that there will be no differentiation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban and have resolved to continue the war against terrorism till the last terrorist is eliminated," he said at an All Party Conference on the same day.

The decision to grant Lakhvi bail came a day after Hafiz Saeed, who India accuses for playing a key role in orchestrating the 26/11 attacks, threatened terror attacks against India on national television in Pakistan.

"If India can send troops to Afghanistan to help the US, then Mujahideen have every right to go to Kashmir and help their brethren. Kashmiris are clamouring for help and it is our duty to respond to their call," he said.

Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that if Pakistan should hand over Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim, the underworld don, who India blames planning the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai.

"If Pakistan is serious in fighting terrorism, it should arrest Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim and hand them over to India... I hope Nawaz Sharif will seize this opportunity to take bold steps against terrorism," the Indian leader told reporters outside Parliament on Thursday.

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