In rebuke, Foreign Office stresses that ‘irrefutable’ evidence of India aiding and abetting terror in Pakistan has been provided to global community
Pakistan on Sunday “encouraged” the U.S. State Department to reserve it concern for the “active aiding, abetting, planning, promoting, financing and execution” of terror activities by India after Washington issued a statement on last week’s conviction of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
On Saturday, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore sentenced Lakhvi, a founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, to five years imprisonment and Rs. 300,000 fine in a terror financing case. The ruling found Lakhvi guilty under three sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 over operating a dispensary in Kot Lakhpat to raise funds for terrorists.
In a posting on Twitter, the U.S. State Department said it was “encouraged” by the conviction, but stressed his crimes went far behind merely financing terrorism. “Pakistan should further hold him accountable for his involvement in terrorist attacks, including the Mumbai attacks,” it said.
In its rebuke to the State Department’s statement, the Foreign Office stressed that Pakistan was “fully abiding” by its own statutes, as well as international obligations against terrorism. “The investigations, prosecutions and subsequent convictions, through due process, are a reflection of the effectiveness of Pakistan’s legal system, which operates independently of any extraneous factors or influences,” it said.
The statement noted that the legal process in the “Mumbai case” remains stalled due to India’s unwillingness to allow Pakistani courts to cross-examination witnesses. “The State Department is encouraged to reserve its concern for the active aiding, abetting, planning, promoting, financing and execution of terrorist activities by India for which sufficient irrefutable evidence has already been provided,” it added.
Earlier, India had also questioned the timing of the action against Lakhvi, attempting to link it to an upcoming Financial Action Taskforce meeting. Pakistan’s Foreign Office had termed those assertions a “malicious” attempt by New Delhi to comment on Pakistan’s independent judiciary.
“In this regard, the only ‘compliance’ that interests Pakistan is abiding by its own statutes and fulfilment of its international obligations,” read a statement issued by the Foreign Office, adding that this was just another attempt by Delhi to politicize FATF and use its processes against Pakistan.
Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to impartiality, confidentiality, and the technical nature of the FATF process, it said India’s allegations were a “vain attempt” divert global attention from its own state terrorism and suppression of minority communities. The Foreign Office recommended New Delhi “put its own house in order and rein in its terror infrastructure that is aimed at destabilizing India’s neighboring countries in order to fulfil the extremist agenda of the RSS-BJP regime.” It also urged the U.N. to proceed on the basis of evidence provided by Pakistan to encourage India to stop using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.