Pakistan to appeal bail for 'Mumbai plotter'

Prosecutor says he will challenge the decision to release the man accused of masterminding deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks.

    A Pakistani government prosecutor has said he will challenge a court order granting bail to the alleged mastermind of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

    A court granted bail on Thursday to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who is accused of masterminding the siege on India's commercial capital that left 166 people dead.

    The decision drew quick condemnation from India and apparently threatens to hinder attempts to patch up ties between the rival neighbours.

    Lakhvi remains in custody at the high security Adyala prison in garrison city of Rawalpindi under the Maintenance of Public Order act, which gives authorities the ability to detain suspects liable to cause public disruption.



    Government prosecutor Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry told international media that he was completing the legal formalities to file the application to challenge the order in Islamabad on Monday.

    "Today I am trying to get a copy of the written [bail] order and then I will file an appeal in Islamabad high court," Chaudhry said.

    The 60-hour assault on Mumbai in 2008 was blamed on the banned Pakistani armed group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

    Lakhvi was reported to be LeT operations commander when he was arrested.

    Tense relations

    Relations between Pakistan and India, two nuclear-armed rivals, worsened dramatically after the carnage, in which 10 gunmen attacked luxury hotels, a popular cafe, a train station and a Jewish centre.

    Lakhvi was arrested in 2009 after, and the sole surviving gunman of the incident, Ajmal Kasab -- who has since been executed -- named him as the mastermind behind the attacks.

    The court's decision came a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to crack down on "terror groups" in the wake of a school massacre that killed 162 people, most of them children.

    Since Sharif was elected last year, he has been trying to repair relations with India, which he sees as vital to kickstarting Pakistan's sluggish economy.

    Asad Hashim contributed to this report from Islamabad.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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