Appeal delayed against Pakistan bail order for Mumbai attacks suspect
A judge in an Islamabad anti-terror court last week granted bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, accused over the siege on India’s commercial capital that left 166 people dead and was blamed on the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The bail decision triggered a furious response from New Delhi and Pakistani prosecutors swiftly announced they would appeal against it.
The challenge was due to be filed on Monday but government prosecutor Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry told AFP he had been unable to proceed.
“I have not yet received copy of the court (bail) order, which is essential to complete legal formalities,” Chaudhry told AFP.
He said he would challenge the order after examining the bail order.
Relations between nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India worsened dramatically after the Mumbai carnage, in which 10 gunmen attacked luxury hotels, a popular cafe, a train station and a Jewish centre.
Lakhvi remains in custody in the high-security Adyala prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi after the authorities ordered his detention — following the court’s bail decision — under public order laws.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told lawmakers last week that the bail order came “as a shock to all those who believe in humanity world over”.
It took the authorities three days to regain full control of Mumbai and New Delhi has long said there is evidence that “official agencies” in Pakistan were involved in plotting the attack.
Islamabad denies the charge but LeT’s charitable arm Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), seen as a front for the militant group, operates openly in the country.
Seven Pakistani suspects have been charged with planning and financing the attacks but the failure to advance their trials has been a major obstacle to better ties between Pakistan and India.
Delhi accuses Islamabad of prevaricating over the trials, while Pakistan has claimed that India failed to hand over crucial evidence.- AFP