LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind, on Friday walked free from a Pakistani jail after spending nearly six years in detention.
Lakhvi was released from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, a day after Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended his detention and ordered his immediate release.
India had strongly reacted to the court’s decision, saying it “eroded” the value of assurances repeatedly conveyed to it by Pakistan on cross-border terrorism.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa supporters were present outside the prison to receive 55-year-old Lakhvi.
The court yesterday suspended the Punjab government’s order to detain Lakhvi under a security act and ordered his immediate release.
Earlier on Friday, Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi had told that the government was left with no other ‘legal option’ but to release his client.
“The government is left with no other ‘legal option’ but to release his client after the LHC suspended his detention. Neither the government nor the Adiala Jail authorities can violate the court’s order this time,” he said.
Lakhvi and six others have been charged with planning and executing the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people and wounding over 300.
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 attack case.
When Lakhvi was granted bail by Lahore High Court in December 2014, Indian government had deeply condemned the step of government of Pakistan by saying that mass murderer like him do not come out of the jail and that it is a shame for humanity.
The trial for Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi has been underway since 2009.