Following outcry from India and the US, as well as widespread protests across Pakistan, 26/11 mastermind Zaki-Ur Rehman Lakhvi will now stay in custody, even though the Islamabad High Court declared his detention order void and ordered his immediate release.
There are several other cases also pending against Lakhvi. According to the Times Now television channel, Lakhvi will now stay under house arrest for a further 30 days.
Soon after the court verdict was announced, an "extremely upset" India on Friday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest against the order.
The matter was also "raised at high levels" in Pakistan through Indian High Commission, official sources told PTI.
A Home Ministry spokesperson said the overwhelming evidence against Lakhvi regarding his role in the criminal conspiracy leading to the Mumbai attack has not been properly presented in the Pakistani court by Pakistani agencies.
"This should be ensured without delay," the spokesperson said.
Lakhvi and six others - Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum - have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.
"It is the responsibility of the Pakistan government to take all legal measures to ensure that Lakhvi does not come out of jail. Pakistan should realise that there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists, a fact which has been globally accepted," a Home Ministry spokesperson said in New Delhi.
The Islamabad HC order did not only outrage India. The US also expressed its unhappiness with the court decision.
"The Government of Pakistan has pledged its 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", State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters. She also said that she had information that Lakhvi would continue to stay in jail.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Mar 15, 2015 08:28:56 IST