ISLAMABAD: A day after an anti-terrorism court granted bail to the alleged mastermind of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, the government detained him under Maintenance of Public Order, Express News reported on Friday.
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the commander of banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, who was allegedly involved in planning, financing and executing the attacks on Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, was granted bail by ATC judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi against submission of surety bonds worth Rs0.5 million.
State prosecutor Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry also told AFP on Friday he will challenge the court order.
The approval of bail drew swift condemnation from New Delhi, which urged the Pakistani government to appeal.
“I am completing all the legal formalities and then I will challenge this order in Islamabad on Monday,” government prosecutor Chaudhry told AFP.
The 60-hour assault on Mumbai was blamed on the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Lakhvi remained in the high security Adiala prison in garrison city of Rawalpindi even after Thursday’s court ruling.
“Today I am trying to get a copy of the written (bail) order and then I will file an appeal in Islamabad High Court,” Chaudhry said.
The court’s ruling on Thursday came a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to crack down on terror groups in Pakistan, after Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan gunmen massacred 148 people, mostly teenagers, at a school in Peshawar.
Nawaz on Wednesday announced that a six-year moratorium on the death penalty would be lifted for those convicted of terror offences.
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said granting the bail was “very unfortunate”.
“India has given enough evidence (against Lakhvi). We expect the Pakistan government to appeal at the earliest,” he told journalists in Delhi.