Pakistan decides to keep 26/11 suspect Lakhvi in jail

Alleged terror mastermind Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi’s bail was cancelled on Friday after outrage and anger rang out from India.Pakistan was forced to keep the alleged 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Lakhvi in jail even though he was granted bail on Thursday by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad.

The Indian establishment swung into action the moment it became aware of the prospects of Lakhvi walking free despite the severity of charges against him.The Union government decided to send a strong political message through a resolution in Parliament (see accompanying story below) condemning the development.

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said India took a firm step and Pakistan responded.He termed Pakistan’s move of taking Lakhvi into custody for another three months under the Maintenance of Public Order law and the decision to appeal against his bail as a “positive step”. Doval also briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the developments in Islamabad.

Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi (left) and Hafiz Saeed court global notoriety as the masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks

Sources said the reaction within Pakistan to Lakhvi’s release was oneof shock as it came just two days after the gruesome terror attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar by Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan terrorists.The attack killed 148 people, of which 132 were school students. Even on Twitter, #PakWithIndiaNoToLakhviBail was trending in Pakistan on Friday, suggesting the overall mood in the country.

Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser, proclaimed the action as a ‘positive step’ for the two nations

Just when Lakhvi was about to walk free from the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, he was detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO). 

“Lakhvi was to be freed from Adiala Jail Rawalpindi on Friday morning, but the government detained him there for three months under the 16 situs mpo slot,” prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar said. 

He also claimed that Pakistan government had informed India about the detention, suggesting that Islamabad addressed New Delhi’s concern. The dreaded terrorist will now remain in jail for at least three months.He might remain inside the jail longer as the Pakistan government has decided to appeal his bail by ATC in Islamabad. 

Even before Lakhvi’s counsel could present the Adiala jail authorities with his bail order to secure his release, the order for his detention had arrived. 

“We have prepared an appeal against the ATC order and will file it on coming Monday,” said the chief prosecutor.Some Pakistani reports also suggested that the Nawaz Sharif government was upset with the ATC decision and decided to move against it. He sought to avoid further embarrassment for Islamabad. Sources told Mail Today that the matter of Lakhvi’s bail was brought to the notice of Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif, who immediately ordered detention of Lakhvi.

Even those who are following the case said that ATC’s decision was a surprise as 15 or more witnesses were still to be produced in court.The bail application was filed on Thursday and approved on Friday. 

Lakhvi, along with Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum, has been charged with planning, financing and executing the Mumbai terror attacks.Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi called his detention unfortunate and said it has been done to frustrate court orders. “This is a deliberate attempt by the government to frustrate the law-and-order of the court,” he said, adding the government cannot “exercise” its power “at random”. 

Terrorists hanged 

Pakistani authorities on Friday night executed two men, Aqeel alias Dr Usman and Arshad Mehmood, convicted in the attacks on its Army headquarters in Rawalpindi and former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, respectively.The executions at Faisalabad jail came days after Pakistan lifted its moratorium on death penalty in the wake of the attack on a Peshawar school. The two are among 17 terrorists who will be hanged in the first phase of executions. 


As the chargesheets point out, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi can be described as the brain behind the 26/11 attack that killed over 160 people in Mumbai six years ago 

  •  Lakhvi, 54, is said to have micro-managed the entire operation: from recruiting the 10 terrorists who waged tyranny across Mumbai to the planning.He was present in the LeT control room in Karachi during the siege, issuing instructions to the 10
  • The lone captured gunman, Ajmal Kasab, had identified Lakhvi as his mentor, calling him ‘chacha’ 
  • Said to be one of the “most efficient” terror trainers; according to some reports, he has a team of sharpshooters, map readers, communication experts and physical trainers doing his bidding. 
  • Lakhvi is believed to be the man who trained Azam Cheema, mastermind of the July 2006 train bombings in Mumbai 
  • It has been reported that at different points in time, Lakhvi directed the LeT’s operations in Chechnya, Bosnia & Iraq



LS adopts resolution as PM says he’s shocked

PM Modi labelled the bail decision as a “big shock”

India on Friday sent out a strong message over a Pakistan anti-terrorism court’s decision to allow 26/11 mastermind Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi bail on Thursday. 

Saying India was just as pained as Pakistan over the ghastly massacre at a Peshawar school this week, PM Narendra Modi said the move to grant bail to Lakhvi just two days later came as “a big shock”.”It’s hard to believe there is lack of evidence against Lakhvi. We demand that Pakistan reverse this decision. We are keeping an eye on this issue,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said. 

The Lok Sabha adopted a resolution condemning the bail and urging the government to take all steps in its power to put pressure on Pakistan to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion. “The Lok Sabha calls upon the Pakistan government to proceed strongly with its declared intention to appeal the bail judgment, and request the government to ensure that on no account is such an individual permitted to be released,” it was said in the resolution. 

The resolution noted that a delay in prosecuting the 26/11 accused and apathy of the Pakistan government had led to Lakhvi getting bail. Amit Agnihotri/New Delhi