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US, Israel strongly condemn Lakhvi’s release, both countries lost their citizens

April 12, 2015 04:20 AM
Terror mastermind Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi

NEW DELHI: The US and Israel, both countries who lost their citizens during the horrific Mumbai attacks of 2008, on Saturday reacted strongly against the release of terror mastermind Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi by a Pakistani court. 

As Lakhvi walked out of prison, it evoked an instant reaction by French President Francois Hollande on Friday in the midst of his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is on his first European tour since taking charge. 

Israeli ambassador in India Daniel Carmon expressed disappointment and dismay over Lakhvi's release, describing it as a setback to international efforts to fight terror. In a statement, he said, "Israel is surprised and disappointed by the release of Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai attack in which, as part of the horrific attack, Israeli nationals and a Jewish centre - the Nariman House - were targeted," he said. 



The US state department said it is "gravely concerned" by the development. "We are gravely concerned about the release on bail of alleged Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. We have communicated that concern to senior Pakistani officials over the course of many months," state department spokesman Jeff Rathke told a news briefing. 

"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 to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives," he said. 

Israeli ambassador in India Daniel Carmon expressed disappointment and dismay over Lakhvi's release, describing it as a setback to international efforts to fight terror. In a statement, he said, "Israel is surprised and disappointed by the release of Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai attack in which, as part of the horrific attack, Israeli nationals and a Jewish centre - the Nariman House - were targeted," he said. 

But the US stopped short of describing any "consequences". The Pakistan decision to release Lakhvi from preventive detention comes days after the US enthusiastically cleared weapons worth $1 billion for Pakistan to ostensibly fight terrorists. The US state department said it had told Pakistan of its concerns on Thursday, urging Islamabad to keep Lakhvi in custody. 

Lakhvi may have been in custody for the past six years, but it has not hampered his operational freedom. Reports from Pakistan have repeatedly asserted that he has continued to lead the LeT from prison and had even fathered a child. 

Carmon said, "This release is a setback for the international efforts in the war against terror in which India and Israel are close partners." During the Mumbai attacks, the terrorists targeted a Jewish Chabad House where six people, including the rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, were killed. 

Lakhvi, a close relative of LeT founder and 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 attacks.

 

 

 

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