MEA Gives Basit an Earful on Lakhvi's Custody Suspension

Published: 30th December 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2014 07:35 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Following the cancellation of detention of 26/11 attacks mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi in Pakistan, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh on Monday gave a dressing down to Pakistan ambassador Abdul Basit, saying there was “no end in sight” to Islamabad’s support to terror groups.

Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi.jpgA high court in the Pakistani capital on Monday ordered the conditional release of Lakhvi on a bond of 1 million Pakistani rupees. Lakhvi had filed a petition against his detention on Friday, which the federal government had used as a way to stamp down on the outrage following the bail granted by the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) on December 18.

Singh conveyed to Basit “strong concern at the lack of effective action of Pakistan’s prosecuting authorities” following the release by the ATC of “internationally designated terrorist Zakir-ur Rehman Lakhvi, whose involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks is well known”.

In fact, Islamabad high court judge Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi apparently gave his two-page order on Lakhvi’s release only after listening to his counsel, with no representation for the government side — a striking omission.

As per reports, Basit apparently exonerated the Pakistan government, informing Singh that Lakhvi’s release was a “judicial matter”.

The MEA statement said India conveyed that it was “extremely disturbing that despite the assurances we have been receiving over the last 6 years, and the recent tragedies in Pakistan, there seems to be no end in sight to Pakistan remaining a safe-haven for a well-known terror group”.

Singh reiterated that Pakistan was expected to “abide by the commitment conveyed to us, including at the highest level, that expeditious steps would be taken to bring all those responsible for the heinous acts of terrorism in Mumbai to justice.” The mention of “recent tragedies” was in reference to the Peshawar school tragedy, in which over 130 children were shot dead. It had led to outpouring of support from India and others — though it turned into anger when Lakhvi got bail.

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