Lakhvi booked under MPO; to remain in jail

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Islamabad: Mumbai attack planner Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, whose bail from a court sparked an outrage in India, was today blocked from coming out of a Rawalpindi jail as Pakistan government detained him for three months under a preventive detention law.

Under international and media glare in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre and outrage in neighbouring India, the authorities stepped in swiftly and slapped the provisions of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) to keep him in jail for at least three months.

The order of detention against 54-year-old LeT operations commander was today handed over to Adiala Jail superintendent before Lakhvi’s counsel could show his bail order.

“Lakhvi was to be freed from Adiala Jail Rawalpindi today morning but the government detained him there for three months under the 16 MPO,” Prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar told PTI.

Azhar said the Pakistan government has also informed India where in the Lok Sabha Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed “shock” over the bail and India rejected Pakistan’s contention about insufficient evidence against Lakhvi.

Lakhvi, 54, one of the seven accused facing trail for planning and abetting the 2008 terror attack in Mumbai, was granted bail by Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court yesterday due to lack of evidence against him.

The prosecution chief further said that the government had decided in principle to challenge the trial court’s decision in the high court.

“We have prepared an appeal against the ATC order and file it on coming Monday,” he said.

However, Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi called his detention unfortunate and said it has been done to frustrate court orders.

“This is a deliberate attempt by the government to frustrate the law and order of the court,” he said, adding the government cannot exercise at random.

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