India left fuming as Pakistan court releases 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi

Lahore: LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind, on Friday walked free from a Pakistani jail after spending nearly six years in detention.

Lakhvi was released from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, a day after Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended his detention and ordered his immediate release.

 India left fuming as Pakistan court releases 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi

Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi. PTI/File image

India had strongly reacted to the court's decision, saying it "eroded" the value of assurances repeatedly conveyed to it by Pakistan on cross-border terrorism.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa supporters were present outside the prison to receive 55-year-old Lakhvi.

The court on Thursday suspended the Punjab government's order to detain Lakhvi under a security act and ordered his immediate release.

Earlier on Friday, Lakhvi's counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi had told PTI that the government was left with no other 'legal option' but to release his client.

"The government is left with no other 'legal option' but to release his client after the LHC suspended his detention. Neither the government nor the Adiala Jail authorities can violate the court's order this time," he said.

Lakhvi and six others have been charged with planning and executing the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people and wounding over 300.

Lakhvi, a close relative of LeT founder and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009 in connection with the 26/11 attack case.

The trial has been underway since 2009.

Voicing concern over the release of the top Lashkar leader, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said India wants talks with Pakistan but the release of the Mumbai attack mastermind is an "unfortunate and disappointing" development.

"India wants talks with Pakistan but the present development (release of Lakhvi) is unfortunate and disappointing," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 11, 2015 08:46:32 IST