Pak court sends 26/11 mastermind Lakhvi to jail for 2 weeks

01 Jan 2015


A Pakistani court has sent Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 26/11 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, to jail for two weeks, in the latest round of a tussle over his detention that has worsened ties with India.

Lakhvi, accused over the siege in India's commercial capital, was granted bail on 18 December by an anti-terror court, leading to strong protests from India. But the Pakistani authorities later detained him under a public order law, which was suspended by the Islamabad high court on Monday.

On Tuesday, police told a lower court that Lakhvi was suspected of kidnapping a man six and half years ago, and the judge allowed police to keep him in custody for two days to investigate.

On Thursday, the same court sent him to Rawalpindi's Adiala jail for a further two weeks, the defence lawyer Rizwan Abbasi told AFP.

The Mumbai attacks left 166 people dead and were blamed on the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Pakistan's failure either to hand over or prosecute those accused over the attack has angered India and damaged relations between the two countries.

Lakhvi and six other suspects have been charged in Pakistan, but their cases have made virtually no progress in more than five years.

The decision to grant Lakhvi bail on 18 December drew an angry response from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It was also seen as an embarrassment for Pakistan's government, which has promised to crack down on all terror groups - including those that target arch-rival India - in the aftermath of the Taliban school massacre that killed 150 people, mostly children.

The government also approached the country's Supreme Court on Thursday to reinstate Lakhvi's detention under the public order law.

''The federal government through the office of attorney general today challenged that cancellation of detention order in Supreme Court of Pakistan,'' said the government prosecutor Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a charitable organisation seen as a front for LeT, operates openly in the country and its leaders frequently appear on television delivering fiery speeches against India.

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