India conveys strong concerns over Lakhvi bail to Pakistan

New Delhi: India has conveyed to Pakistan its strong concerns on the granting of bail to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a key mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the external affairs ministry said and added that this makes "a mockery of Pakistan's commitment to fight terror".

Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin Friday said the bail granted to Lakhvi "will make a mockery of Pakistan's commitment to fight terror groups without hesitation and without making distinctions".

Speaking to television reporters, the spokesperson said that the Pakistani trial in the Mumbai attacks case in Pakistan has been moving at a glacial pace and that the move to grant bail to Lakhvi Thursday "has taken this saga to another level".

"You are aware that despite repeated assurances that have been received, we have seen both the prosecution of the seven accused in the Anti-Terror Court in Islamabad, as also the investigation by the authorities into the larger conspiracy surrounding the Mumbai attack case, proceeding at a glacial pace. The story of repeated postponements, adjournments and unavailability of concerned law officers or witnesses is well documented and does not require repetition," he said.

"The move to grant bail to Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi yesterday (Thursday) has taken this saga to another level.

"We have, therefore, forthwith communicated to Pakistan through diplomatic channels our strong concerns on this matter and the sentiments across the spectrum of Indian society that that this will make a mockery of Pakistan's commitment to fight terror groups without hesitation and without making distinctions," he said.

An anti-terrorism court in Islamabad Thursday granted bail to Lakhvi, who is among the seven persons charged with planning and helping to carry out the Nov 26, 2008, Mumbai terror attacks which left at least 166 people dead.

At the time of the 26/11 attacks, Lakhvi was believed to be the operational head of the banned Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) that is accused by India of carrying out the attacks in India's financial capital.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh Thursday said: "It is very unfortunate, and believe it should not have happened," and added that the evidence provided by India to Pakistan on the Mumbai teror case was "more than enough to nail him".

He said the Pakistan government should appeal in a higher court and get the bail cancelled.

The external affairs ministry, in a strong statement, said the bail granted to Lakhvi would "serve as a reassurance to terrorists who perpetrate heinous crimes" and asked Pakistan to immediately take steps to reverse the decision.

It said: "Given the scale of the tragedy that Pakistan itself has faced in recent days, it is incumbent on it to realise that no compromise can ever be made with terrorists", and that "There can be no selective approaches to terrorism".

The bail attracted wide condemnation from India, with politicians and experts terming the decision shocking.

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