U.S. and Israel too criticise Lakhvi release

U.S. govt. said it had communicated its "grave concerns" over Lakhvi’s release to senior Pakistani officials, after he was granted bail.

April 12, 2015 02:23 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:31 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

A file photo of Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 26/11 attacks.

A file photo of Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 26/11 attacks.

After France, the U.S. and Israel have criticised the decision of a Pakistani court to free the alleged mastermind of the 26/11 attack, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi.

The U.S. government said it had communicated its “grave concerns” over Lakhvi’s release to senior Pakistani officials on Thursday, after he was granted bail. “Pakistan has pledged cooperation in bringing the perpetrators, financiers and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, and we urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives,” State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke said in Washington.

Asked whether the U.S. would consider any action against Pakistan, Mr. Rathke said: “Bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice is a key priority…So we’ll continue working in that direction, but I don’t have any further specific steps to outline right now.”

In a statement issued in Delhi, Israeli Ambassador Daniel Carmon said Israel was “surprised and disappointed” by the release of Lakhvi, calling him the “mastermind” of the attacks. Four Israelis, including two Israeli Americans, were among those killed during the attack on Chabad House. Among them were Rabbi Gavriel and his wife Rivkah, directors of the Jewish centre, who were allegedly gunned down by LeT terrorists on orders delivered on the phone from Lakhvi, who was manning the ‘Karachi control room’ during the three-day siege.

“This release is a setback for the international efforts in the war against terror, in which India and Israel are close partners,” Mr. Carmon said.

On Friday, the release of Lakhvi was discussed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande in Paris. Mr. Hollande, too, condemned the development, saying it wasn’t “good for India and the world.”

Without referring directly to Pakistan and Lakhvi’s release, Mr. Modi said there was need for “global action to deal with terrorism” and called on nations to “commit that they will not provide shelter to terrorists but punish them.”

India had reacted sharply, with a strong protest being delivered by High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghavan in Islamabad. In response, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said Indian delays in “extending cooperation” to investigators were responsible for the “weaknesses” in the prosecution case.

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