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Alleged Mumbai Attacks Mastermind Detained Again

by AFP
Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Supreme Court has ordered the Islamabad High Court to hear the case again from Jan. 12.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday re-imposed a detention order on the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, court officials said, the latest in a tussle over his custody that has strained ties with India.

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who is accused over the terror siege in India’s commercial capital, was granted bail on Dec. 18 by an anti-terror court but was kept in detention by authorities under a public order law, which in turn was then suspended by the Islamabad High Court on Dec. 29.

A two-judge panel has now suspended the Islamabad High Court’s interim order and directed it to hear the case again from Jan. 12, a court official told AFP. The judges ruled that the high court did not hear the arguments of the federal government and suspended Lakhvi’s detention orders in haste, the official said.

Lakhvi has never been let out of Adiala Prison in Rawalpindi during the back and forth over his detention, which prompted an angry response from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was initially granted bail.

The Mumbai attacks left 166 people dead and were blamed on banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). India has long seethed at Pakistan’s failure either to hand over or prosecute those accused of planning and organizing the violence. Lakhvi and six other suspects have been charged in Pakistan but their cases have made virtually no progress in more than five years.

It was also seen as an embarrassment for Pakistan’s government, which has promised to crack down on all terror groups, including those that target India, in the wake of the Taliban school massacre that killed 150 people, mostly children, last month.

The government had approached the Supreme Court last week to reinstate Lakhvi’s detention under a public order law.

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