The US, France and Israel have expressed “grave concern” over the release of UN-designated terrorist and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
While the US said it was “gravely concern” about the release and it has communicated the concerns in this regard to Pakistan, French President Francois Hollande expressed his country’s “indignation” over the development.
Israel also today termed the release as a “setback”. India has already protested strongly to Pakistan against Lakhvi’s release, saying, “This is an insult to the victims of 26/11 terror attack.”
During a daily news conference in Washington, State Department acting spokesperson Jeff Rathke said, “We are gravely concerned about the release on bail of alleged Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. We have communicated that concern to senior Pakistani officials over the course of many months, and as recently as yesterday.”
“Terrorist attacks are an assault on the collective safety and security of all countries. Pakistan has pledged its cooperation in bringing the perpetrators, financiers, and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, and we urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives,” he said.
Hollande, during his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said he was deeply shocked by Lakhvi’s release by Pakistan and conveyed his “indignation” over the development.
In a strong worded reaction, Israeli Ambassador here Daniel Carmon said, “Israel is surprised and disappointed by the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 26/11/08 Mumbai attacks in which as part of the horrific attack also Israeli nationals and a Jewish Center- the Nariman House- were targeted.”
“This release is a setback for the international efforts in the war against terror in which India and Israel are close partners,” Carmon added.
Fifty five-year-old Lakhvi, who guided 10 LeT gunmen from a control room in Pakistan during 26/11, walked free after a Pakistani court ordered his release on Thursday.
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 attacks in which over 300 people were also injured. The trial has been underway since 2009.