Islamabad: The release on bail of Mumbai terrorist attack mastermind Zakiur-Rehman Lakhvi is an insult to the students massacred in Peshawar and must be reversed, a Pakistani newspaper said Friday.
The Islamabad court's decision to free Lakhvi "has undercut the building narrative of not discriminating between terrorists as well as the nascent gestures of solidarity between India and Pakistan" following the Tuesday carnage in Peshawar, The Nation said in an editorial.
"When all of Pakistan is building a narrative against extremism, such steps are critical blows to the process, and therefore needs to be reversed. It is not only a terrible decision that harms the state’s objectives but is also an insult to the memory of the innocent 141 who lost their lives in Peshawar," it added.
After widespread criticism of the court ruling Thursday, the Pakistani government announced Friday it would keep Lakhvi, the former commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), in jail. India has accused Lakhvi of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people.
"What was considered a watershed moment in Pakistan's tussle with extremism is now just another flash in the pan," the editorial said.
"Where on one side the nation is baying to hang all convicted terrorists and run all shades of militants to the ground, on the other we are quietly granting bail to a person who allegedly planned a terrorist attack. How is this any different from the supposedly long-gone day when we used to differentiate between 'terrorists' and 'strategic assets'? The decision has led to outrage in India; the inklings of trust and mutual suffering have been erased. Instead, we are still being painted as aggressors, where a moment ago we were viewed as the victims. The distrust returns, as do the hurdles towards peace."
Updated Date: Dec 19, 2014 15:17:02 IST