Lakhvi’s bail in Pak sparks condemnation in India

New Delhi: The grant of bail to key Mumbai attack handler Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi by a Pakistan court today sparked condemnation in India and was described as incorrect and “very unfortunate” especially in the aftermath of Peshawar carnage when a crackdown against terrorists was promised.

As political leaders and the civil society said the court order was shocking and could be a “setback” besides sending a wrong message to the world, Home Minister Rajnath Singh blamed Pakistan, saying there might be some laxity on the part of the prosecution in taking the case forward.

Terming the order for release by an Anti-Terrorism court in Rawalpindi as “very unfortunate” as it came just two days after the terror attack in Peshawar where over 130 school children were killed, Singh hoped that the Pakistan government will approach a higher court and ensure its cancellation.

“There might be be some laxity on the part of the Pakistan government somewhere or could be due to some other reasons (the bail was granted),” he said at a hurriedly-called press briefing.

Singh said India had pursued the Mumbai attacks case meticulously and that resulted in fast trial and delivery of justice to the case with the hanging of one of the terrorists Ajmal Kasab.

“But it is not happening in Pakistan. We have given enough evidence against the terrorists,” he said.

Singh said that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had asserted that operations against terror elements will continue in his country till terrorism ends.

“So, I hope that the Pakistan government will appeal in a higher court so that Lakhvi’s bail is cancelled,” he said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the grant of bail was incorrect even as he noted that India had shown maturity and gave them support in the aftermath of the Peshawar attack.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani said the bail order ws “very shocking” after the recent Pakistan attack. “It has never happened anywhere across the globe,” he said.

Ujjwal Nikam, Public prosecutor in the Mumbai terror attack case, termed as a “setback” the order and asked Pakistani authorities to ensure it is cancelled.

“It is really a big setback as with Lakhvi on bail prosecution witnesses will not like to come forward and give evidence,” he said.