China backs terrorist Lakhvi, blocks India's UN move against Pakistan

23 June 2015

China has blocked India's move seeking UN action against Pakistan for the release from jail of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 26 / 11 Mumbai terror attacks. A Pakistani court had, last year, exonerated the terrorist leader stating there was no evidence to prove his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Pakistan released Lakhvi from a jail in Rawalpindi after the Islamabad high court declared his detention illegal and ordered his release even before the trial in the Mumbai terror attack was over.

The operations commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba has been living at an undisclosed location since then and has not been spotted in public.

The UN Sanctions Committee, which met at the request of India's permanent representative to the UN, Asoke Mukherjee, was to seek clarification from Pakistan on the release in the 26/11 terror mastermind, but China blocked the move on grounds that India did not provide sufficient information, sources said.

India approached the UN last month against Lakhvi's release.

Lakhvi, 55, along with six others, plotted the attack on Mumbai in 2008, in which 166 people were killed. The case has made no progress in more than five years, paving the way for his release on 9 April 2015.

India had moved the UN Sanctions Committee terming Lakhvi's release as a violation of a UN resolution on terrorist organisations and groups, including the al Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The sanctions committee includes China as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Lakhvi's release was viewed with concern in US, Russia, France and Germany. Washington has demanded his re-arrest.

Lakhvi, a close relative of LeT founder and Jamaat-Ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted a year later for his role in one of India's deadliest terror attacks. 

An FIR was also registered against him based on the information provided by Indian authorities.

On 25 November 2009, Lakhvi was indicted along with six others for planning and helping to carry out the Mumbai attacks. An anti-terrorism court granted him bail against Rs500,000 surety bonds on 18 December 2014.

The same day, a local magistrate issued a detention order for one month. On 29 December 2014, the Islamabad high court set aside the detention order and directed the authorities to release him.

The Okara DCO ordered his detention on 12 March under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, but was released again on a court order.

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