Pakistan to try Lakhvi on daily basis
Islamabad, Feb 3 (IANS) Pakistan, under international pressure to curb terrorism and terrorist activities based on its territory, will conduct the trial of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, on day-to-day basis, local media reported Tuesday.
The Islamabad High Court, whose earlier order for conditional release of Lakhvi raised the hackles of India, said that the hearing in the trial would be held on daily basis, the Dawn reported.
The court’s ruling came on a request from prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar, who said: “This case is crucial. The world’s eyes are on this case. Therefore, it should be heard daily by IHC.”
The hearing in the case will commence Friday. The trial, being conducted by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), has seen much flip-flop in recent months.
Last year Dec 29, the Islamabad High Court ordered conditional release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, drawing strong protests from India, which summoned the Pakistani envoy to “convey concern” over the development.
On Dec 30, Lakhvi was sent by a Pakistani court to two-day judicial remand in an abduction case, after India again strongly raised concerns over his imminent release.
India has relentlessly sought Lakhvi since the November 2008 attacks killed 166 persons, including several foreigners, in Mumbai, causing international uproar and a diplomatic storm.
Lakhvi was arrested in February 2009 for masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead and over 300 injured.
He was indicted with six others Nov 25, 2009, on the basis of the confessional statement of the lone surviving attacker Ajmal Kasab, who was caught, tried and executed in India Nov 21, 2012.
Lakhvi, 54, was reportedly arrested from the headquarters of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group in Muzaffarabad, soon after the attacks.
The six other men facing the trial for their alleged involvement in Mumbai strikes are Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Younas Anjum, Jamil Ahmed, Mazhar Iqbal and Abdul Majid.
At the time of the attacks, Lakhvi was believed to be the operational head of the banned Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) that has been accused by India of being the perpetrator.
Lakhvi, along with Zarar Shah, was allegedly the key planner of the Mumbai attacks.
The hearing scheduled at the Islamabad High Court Tuesday was postponed as the protracted case of Mumtaz Qadri, the policeman jailed for murdering Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was heard in its place.