US concerned over Lakhvi being granted bail

Washington: The US today expressed concern over a Pakistani court granting bail to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the key planner of 2008 Mumbai attacks, and asked Pakistan to uphold the process of bringing the perpetrators of the crime to justice.

“So we are concerned about the report, about Lakhvi, one of the alleged masterminds behind the Mumbai terrorist attack, was granted bail,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters at her daily news conference.

“The government of Pakistan has pledged its cooperation to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai to justice, and we’d urge them to uphold that process,” Harf said in response to a question about Lakhvi who was granted bail by a Pakistani court, but has not been released yet.

“We’re concerned by their reports, but this individual terrorist got bail. We have worked very closely with Pakistan on counterterrorism. More Pakistanis are victims of counterterrorism, I think than anywhere in the world, so clearly, it’s a shared threat. But when we have concerns like this, we’ll raise them,” Harf said.

On the planned execution of 500 militants by Pakistan after the Peshawar school massacre, the US said it is for Pakistan to decide on the matter.

“Clearly, this is a decision for Pakistan. It’s not really ours to weigh in on,” Harf said when asked about the recent decision by Pakistani government to lift the moratorium on execution of terrorists.

Such a move has been criticised by human rights organisations.

“We have been in close contact with all levels of the Pakistani government. The President and the Secretary both spoke to Prime Minister (Nawaz) Sharif and have stood ready to provide assistance in the wake of that horrific attack. But nothing on that specific,” Harf said.