26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi walks free from Pakistan jail

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Lahore/Lucknow: The mastermind of 2008 Mumbai attack and LeT operations commander, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi has been released from a jail in Pakistan on Friday.

“Lakhvi has been released and he is out of the jail now,” his lawyer, Malik Nasir Abbas, told Reuters. “I don’t know where he will go now.”

The Lahore High Court had on Thursday suspended the Punjab government’s detention order and directed his immediate release, provoking a strong reaction from India.

The judge had ordered Lakhvi to submit two surety bonds worth Rs 1 million each for his release.

Voicing concern over Lakhvi’s release, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh 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 in Lucknow on Friday.

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 attack in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

Lakhvi, believed to be a close relative of LeT founder and Jamat-Ud Dawa (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.

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