Bail to Lakhvi: Sushma says Pakistan made mockery of its commitment to fight terrorism

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi, Dec 19: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj said on Friday that India doesn’t accept top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and 26/11 accused Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi’s release on bail.

Making her statement in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj said: “We do not accept the fact that LeT’s chief operation commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, who is one of the main masterminds of the Mumbai terror attacks and a person who has been designated an international terrorist by the UNSC, be released on bail.”

She said: “We reject the contention that there is inadequate evidence to prosecute him and his fellow conspirators. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Mumbai terror attack conspiracy was planned, financed, and trained for in Pakistan.”

She further said: “99 percent of the evidence is available in Pakistan itself, and it is the duty of the Pakistan’s investigative authorities, who have had six years to collect and present the evidence required, to secure a conviction.”

Informing that India has already made its position on this issue clear to the Pakistan authorities, Sushma said that upon receiving the report of the bail plea having been granted, the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad contacted the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan and conveyed the country’s position in clear and unambiguous terms.

Criticising the Pakistan Government over Lakhvi’s release, Swaraj said that by doing this they have made a mockery of their commitments to fight terrorism.

Swaraj said: “The grant of bail to Lakhvi makes absolute mockery of the Government of Pakistan’s professed commitment to fight terror groups without hesitation and without making false distinctions. It will only reassure those who perpetrated the recent heinous attack in Peshawar that they too will be allowed to continue their activities unabated.”

She urged the Government of Pakistan to immediately take steps to reverse this decision.

Lakhvi, who is among the seven persons charged with planning and helping carry out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, was earlier on Thursday granted bail by Pakistan’s anti-terror court.

Sushma also mourned the death of school children in the recent attack in Peshawar.

She said, “Members will recall that two days ago Pakistan suffered a heinous terrorist attack against a School in Peshawar in which 132 children and 9 others were systematically butchered by terrorists, in the name of “revenge”. We felt the pain of the families who lost their loved ones in this massacre – It was not just innocent children who were massacred in the attack, a part of humanity was also lost on this day.”

(With Agency Inputs)

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