Parliament, PM condemns bail to Lakhvi

New Delhi: India on Friday asked Pakistan to ensure immediate reversal of the bail granted to Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi as an outraged Parliament denounced the development, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said has come as a “shock”.

As members were expressing their views, Modi came to the House and spoke on the development. This was immediately followed by a detailed statement by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and a quickly-drafted House resolution.

Modi referred to the massacre of children by terrorists in a school in Peshawar. “The pain felt in India was no less than that felt in Pakistan. Every Indian had tears in eyes… But immediately after that this kind of behaviour has come as shock to all those who believe in humanity,” he said.

Swaraj said by allowing bail to Lakhvi, Pakistan has made mockery of its pledge to fight terrorism “without any condition or discrimination” and asserted that Pakistan should immediately get this decision overturned.

“We do not accept this fact that Lakhvi, who is the 26/11 mastermind and has been declared an international terrorist by the UN, is released on bail…. We demand that Pakistan government should have this decision overturned immediately. We are keeping a watch on its response.”

Asserting that it is Pakistan’s responsibility to ensure punishment to those behind the Mumbai attack by furnishing evidence, she said, “We reject this argument that there is lack of adequate evidence.”

The resolution adopted by Lok Sabha condemned the bail granted to Lakhvi and asked the government to take “all steps in its power, including through its relations with foreign countries, to put pressure on Pakistan to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion.”

Noting that India’s stand on the issue has been clearly spelt out to Pakistan, the External Affairs Minister said, “The Pakistan government, by letting Lakhvi go out on bail, has made a mockery of its pledge to fight terror groups without any condition or discrimination… It emboldens terrorists who committed massacre of children in Peshawar.”

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