A Pakistani court freed the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks on bail after an appellate bench set aside his detention, irking India.
Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was released from Adiyala prison in Rawalpindi, Punjab, his lawyer Nasir Abbas said by phone. “He is no longer in jail.”
A senior leader of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lakhvi has been on trial in Pakistan since 2009 along with six others charged with facilitating, financing and masterminding the guerrilla assault on India’s commercial hub that killed 166 people including foreigners and soured relations between the two South Asian nuclear rivals.
India, which has demanded Pakistan bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice, said its neighbor hasn’t done enough.
“Clearly, they are not very keen on establishing their credentials on fighting terror,” Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s trade minister, said in New Delhi on Thursday. “The Indian government has repeatedly reminded Pakistan that they have to walk the talk.”
Shuja Khanzada, the home minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province, wasn’t available for comment. After initial denials, Pakistan acknowledged the Mumbai raid was planned on its soil and began the trial of some Lashkar members.
The lone gunman caught alive during the attacks, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, was hanged in 2012 after a court in Mumbai found him guilty of mass murder and waging war on India. The then Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Kasab’s mercy petition.
Armed with assault weapons and grenades, the 10 terrorists stormed two luxury hotels, the city’s main railway station, a cafe and a Jewish center in the bloody, 60-hour rampage.
The Islamabad High Court on Thursday set aside Lakhvi’s detention orders by the Punjab government, declaring them “illegal,” his lawyer Abbas said.