Suspected mastermind of Mumbai terror attack released

Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi

The man accused of masterminding the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai has walked free from a Pakistani jail after detention orders against him were dropped.

The decision of Lahore’s high court to release Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged military chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, was described as an “insult to the victims” of the attack, in which 166 people were killed.

Delhi is frustrated by Pakistan’s seven-year failure to successfully prosecute any of those allegedly involved in sending a boatload of young suicide attackers to India’s financial capital.

Rizwan Abbasi, the lawyer acting for Lakhvi, confirmed his client had been released from Adiala jail in Rawalpindi following the end of his “illegal detention”.

“Justice Anwar ul-Haq in his orders declared the detention unjustified and ordered an immediate release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi from the jail,” he said.

Pakistan’s government had battled to keep Lakhvi behind bars since he was granted bail by an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on 18 December last year, two days after a Taliban massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar prompted the government to make grand promises to crack down on terrorist groups.

The state, however, was only able to use “maintenance of public order” legislation to hold him, because prosecutors have failed to marshal a case against him.

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