India faced a set-back in its campaign against the global terror as China blocked India’s move in the UN demanding action against Pakistan for releasing the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attack, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. He was released by the Pakistan session court on 9th April amid objections by India. On its part China contended that India provided insufficient information.
The commander of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Lakhvi at the time of his release by the Pakistan court, was facing charges in connection with the Mumbai attack case. Expressing deep concerns at the time of Lakhvi’s release, the government of India had conveyed to Pakistan that “it had eroded the value of assurances” repeatedly conveyed by it on cross-border terrorism.
India had then taken up the matter at UN with India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Mukherjee last month writing that Lakhvi’s release by a Pakistani court was in violation of the 1267 UN resolution dealing with designated entities and individuals.
As the UN Sanctions Committee met at the UN headquarters at India’s request, a clarification was to be sought from Pakistan over LeT commander Lakhvi’s release in the 26/11 trial but the Chinese representatives blocked the move on grounds that India did not provide sufficient information.
The sanctions measures apply to designated individuals and entities associated with terror groups including al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba, wherever located. Lakhvi along with several others have been branded as international terrorists after the 1999 UN resolution.
The release of Lakhvi had also raised concerns in the US, UK, Russia, France and Germany with Washington even calling for him to be re-arrested.
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. 55-year old Lakhvi, a close relative of LeT founder and Jamaat-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.
India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) claims that Lakhvi and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed have been behind more than just one attack in Indian Territory.
(With inputs from PTI)