Punjab Home Ministry reinstates Lakhvi’s detention for a month

LAHORE: The Punjab Home Ministry on Saturday restored the detention orders of Mumbai attacks alleged mastermind Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi for one month.

A day earlier, Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ordered the release of Lakhvi, and declared his detention illegal.

IHC’s Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi accepted Lakhvi’s appeal filed against his third time detention orders.

The United States said Friday that it was closely monitoring developments in Pakistan related to the release orders by IHC of Lakhvi.

“We are monitoring reports that an Islamabad high court judge suspended detention orders for the alleged Mumbai attack mastermind,” US State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki, told reporters in Washington.

“For now he remains in prison,” she said.

The release order also drew India’s ire and prompted the Indian External Affairs Ministry to summon the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and lodge a protest.

Responding to the reports at the daily press briefing, the State Department spokesman said the US hoped Pakistan would keep its commitment to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, but declined to speculate on the outcome of the ongoing legal process.

“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,” said Psaki.

“Pakistan is a critical partner in a fight against terrorism. We’ve certainly seen these reports (of a court granting bail to Lakhvi), but we can’t speculate on the outcome of an ongoing legal process,” she added.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office also summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner to protest what it said was unnecessary highlighting of the issue of Lakhvi, on Friday.

A government official said instead of creating hype and projecting the case in the media out of proportion, India should behave diplomatically and express concern in diplomatic norms.