ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI (dpa) – Pakistani authorities Friday ordered the re-arrest of the alleged mastermind of the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai after New Delhi expressed anger over a Pakistani court’s decision to grant him bail, officials said.
An anti-terror court in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi city Thursday approved bail for Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, the commander of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group.
LeT was behind the deadly attacks in Mumbai and Lakhvi was detained in Pakistan on suspicion of planning the assault in 2009. The decision sparked outrage in India and officials in New Delhi asked the Pakistani government to challenge it in a higher court. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said concerns had been conveyed to Pakistan in the strongest terms, in a statement to the parliament in New Delhi.
India has provided Pakistan with enough evidence of Lakhvi’s role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said.
The Rawalpindi court had said in Thursday’s bail verdict that there was not enough evidence to keep Lakhvi in jail.
Lakhvi was expected to be released next week, his lawyer Rizwan Abbasi said. But the Interior Ministry asked authorities to charge Lakhvi under a new law to prevent him leaving prison, a police official told dpa. “This is a pre-emptive step to make sure he doesn’t walk free,” said the official, who asked not to be named.
Lakhvi will be detained under a law on maintaining public order, under which police can arrest people they think are a potential threat.