Congress attributed the release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakvi to National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s “failure” and lack of “clarity” in its approach towards Pakistan, contentions rejected by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which said the 26/11 mastermind was forced to remain in jail due to the Centre’s efforts.
“It goes without saying that it’s a failure of the Narendra Modi government. The government waxed eloquent about coercive diplomacy throughout the election campaign last year.
The moment they came into government, they have done a complete u turn,” Congress leader Manish Tewari said.
“When the BJP- People’s Democratic Alliance (PDP) government in Jammu and Kashmir releases a person like Masarat Alam, the signal that you send across the border is that you are not tough on terror. Therefore Pakistan goes ahead and releases Lakvi,” he said. Authorities in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi released the 55-year-old LeT operations commander, a day after Lahore High Court suspended his detention under a security act.
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao claimed Lakhvi could be detained because of successful efforts of the government.
“It was only because of the government of India that he (Lakvi) was forced to be jail after several attempts by Pakistan to get him a reprieve from the court,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Congress leader Salman Khurshid said, “The word that comes to mind is shocking. But the word may not be strong enough for such a horrendous thing to have happened. It ridiculous for anyone on behalf of government or anybody to say that we managed to keep him there for so long.”
He said his party does not want to score points on what the present government did or not but this was a matter which concerned the entire country and we must express our deepest “distress and anguish” in a single voice.
“The government should stop doing flip flops. First get clarity on their approach to Pakistan and that clarity must be an objective clarity based on objective finding and also based on record of Pakistan and not on a romantic hope that somehow they will pull off something unusual,” he said.
Meanwhile special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said that Lakvi’s release is not only an “insult” but has also exposed the “failure” of the Pakistani investigating and prosecuting agencies.
“It is not only an insult but Pakistan has been playing drama all this while with us. For the simple reason that they did not adduce sufficient evidence in respect to the criminal conspiracy which was hatched in Pakistan prior to the terror attack on November 26,” he said.
“We have handed over the evidence in respect to the overt acts committed by Kasab and nine deceased colleagues. That is in pursuance of the criminal conspiracy. It is Pakistani investigating and prosecuting agency whose failure has been exposed today,” he said.