The Pakistani government said Friday that it will appeal against the bail granted to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who is accused of being the mastermind behind the deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India. Pakistan's government has kept him in detention for maintenance of public order, while the Indian government has protested against Lakhvi's bail.
The Indian government said that it would begin diplomatic dialogues with the Pakistani government to discuss the bail, which it claimed was a “mockery” of Pakistan’s effort to fight terrorism. Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson for India’s ministry of external affairs, said that despite several assurances, the Pakistani authorities have barely made any progress on the prosecution of the seven accused, including Lakhvi, Zee News, a local Indian news network, reported.
Lakhvi, who was one of the co-founders of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, was granted bail by the anti-terrorism court in Pakistan Thursday due to lack of evidence. The court had asked him to pay a surety bond of Rs. 500,000 ($7,904).
"We have forthwith communicated to Pakistan through diplomatic channels our strong concerns on this matter and the sentiments across the country that this will make a mockery of the Pakistan's commitment to fight terror groups without hesitation and without making distinctions," Akbaruddin said, according to ANI News, a local Indian news agency, adding: "The story of repeated postponements, adjournments and unavailability of concerned law officers or witnesses is well documented and does not require repetition."
Lakhvi’s bail came just a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the country will fight back terrorism until “not a single terrorist is left in Pakistan.” The bail also comes just two days after terrorists from Taliban attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, killing over 130 children.
The Mumbai attacks in 2008 had killed 166 people and injured over 600. According to the complaint against Lakhvi, he and his accomplices had organised four training camps to help the men taking part in the attack and also supplied weapons and explosives to them, NDTV, an India-based local news network reported.
"This decision is unfortunate. I believe Pakistan didn't do enough; India has provided enough evidence (on Lakhvi's role in the 26/11 attacks)," Rajnath Singh, India’s home minister, said, according to NDTV, adding that he had hopes that Pakistan would appeal to higher courts to "cancel the bail."