Washington: The United States said Friday that it was closely monitoring developments in Pakistan related to the release orders of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks key suspect Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
“We are monitoring reports that an Islamabad high court judge suspended detention orders for the alleged Mumbai attack mastermind,” US State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki, told reporters in Washington.
“For now he remains in prison,” she said.
Earlier on Friday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the release of the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks and declared his detention illegal.
The release order drew India’s ire and prompted the Indian External Affairs Ministry to summon the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and lodge a protest.
Responding to the reports at the daily press briefing, the State Department spokesman said the US hoped Pakistan would keep its commitment to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, but declined to speculate on the outcome of the ongoing legal process.
“The government of 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,” said Psaki.
“Pakistan is a critical partner in a fight against terrorism. We’ve certainly seen these reports (of a court granting bail to Lakhvi), but we can’t speculate on the outcome of an ongoing legal process,” she added.
Also on Friday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office also summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner to protest what it said was unnecessary highlighting of the issue of Lakhvi’s.
A government official said instead of creating hype and projecting the case in the media out of proportion, India should behave diplomatically and express concern in diplomatic norms.
The official while giving details of two important incidents, 2008 Mumbai terror attack and 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, urged India to allow the judicial process to be completed.
In December 2014, the Islamabad administration issued Lakhvi’s detention orders under section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order, which was subsequently extended for a third time.
Lakhvi has been granted bail in both cases against him, including the 2008 Mumbai attack case and a case pertaining to the kidnapping of an Afghan national.