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India slams Pak over suspending Lakhvi's detention order; “safe-haven for terror”

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Islamabad/New Delhi (Dec. 29, 2014): The mastermind behind Mumbai attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi's detention under a public security order was suspended on Monday by a Pakistani court, evoking sharp reaction from India which said Pakistan remained a safe-haven for well-known terror groups.

Islamabad High Court Judge Noorul Haq N Qureshi, while accepting Lakhvi's application challenging his detention under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), suspended the government's order in this regard and directed him to submit a surety bond of Rs 1 million. The court also asked Lakhvi to ensure his presence in every hearing of the case.

The government's law officer was not present when the court gave its ruling.

Anti-Terrorism Court Judge in Islamabad Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi had on December 18 granted bail to Lakhvi in the Mumbai attacks case citing lack of evidence against him, but before he could be released from jail, the government detained him for three more months under MPO in Adiala Jail where the trial is being held.

Reacting sharply, India conveyed its strong concern to Pakistan over the development, saying, "there seems to be no end in sight to Pakistan remaining a safe-haven for well-known terror groups."

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi and the Indian mission in Islamabad took up the issue with the Pakistan Foreign Office.

"Basit was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs by the Foreign Secretary today afternoon. The Foreign Secretary conveyed strong concern at the lack of effective action by Pakistan's prosecuting authorities after the Anti-Terrorism-Court ordered the release of internationally designated terrorist Lakhvi, whose involvement in the Mumbai terror attack is well known," Official Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said in New Delhi.