PM Modi takes up Lakhvi issue with China

RSTV Bureau

Lakhvi_releasePrime Minister Narendra Modi has taken up the issue of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi with China after it blocked India’s call for action in the UN against Pakistan over the release of Lakhvi.

External Affairs Ministry said that India raised the issue with China at the “highest level”.

On Tuesday, India also spoke bilaterally with members of the UN Sanctions Committee to register its protest in the matter.

“We also raised this bilaterally with the other members of the Committee. In the case of China, this matter has been taken up at the highest level,” said Vikas Swarup, spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry.

At a meeting of the UN Sanctions Committee, India sought action against Pakistan for releasing Lakhvi in the 26/11 trial in violation of a UN resolution. Sources say all members in the Sanctions Committee supported India’s stand except China. Chinese representatives blocked the move saying that India did not provide sufficient information.

The Sanctions Committee comprises of five permanent and 10 non-permanent UN member states.

“Government had taken up the issue of violation of the 1267 sanctions regime in respect of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi,” Swarup explained.

The UN Sanctions Committee met last week after India’s request in the matter. In a letter to the Chair of the UN Sanctions Committee Jim McLay, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Asoke Mukherjee had said Lakhvi’s release by a Pakistani court was in violation of the 1267 UN resolution. This resolution applies to individuals and entities associated with terror groups including al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Lakhvi along with several others have been branded as international terrorists after the 1999 UN resolution.

Lakhvi was the mastermind behind the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai in which 166 people were killed. In the 26/11 trial in Pakistan, Lakhvi was released from jail on April 9, by the Pakistan sessions court. India, at that time had expressed deep concern and conveyed that Pakistan “had eroded the value of assurances.”

Lakhvi and six others Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum were 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.