2008 Mumbai attack: UN assures India of taking up Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi’s release issue
A UNSC committee has assured India that it will take up the issue of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi at its next meeting, after India expressed concern that the LeT commander’s release from a Pakistani jail violates the provisions of the global body.
India’s Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji had written a letter to the Chair of the UNSC Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee Ambassador Jim McLay expressing concern over Lakhvi’s release and said it violates the provisions of the committee concerning al-Qaeda and associated individuals and entities.
India also pointed out that as a listed terrorist, Lakhvi can neither receive or give money since all his assets and financial resources have to be frozen. Any bail money posted for Lakhvi is also a violation of the provisions of the sanctions committee since he is listed terrorist.
Acknowledging India’s concerns, McLay has responded to India’s letter and assured that the matter will be discussed at the next meeting of the committee, sources in United Nations said.
The next meeting of the committee is expected to take place in the next few days.
The committee had listed in December 2008 Lakhvi as a terrorist associated with LeT and Al-Qaeda for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts of activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of” both entities.
As a listed terrorist, Lakhvi is subjected to assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.
The committee said that as chief of operations and military commander of LeT, Lakhvi has directed its operations, including in Iraq and South-East Asia.
“In past years, Lakhvi has played an important role in LeT fundraising activities, receiving donations from Al-Qaeda affiliates on behalf of LeT. He has also managed a training camp in Afghanistan,” according to the committee website.
The release of Lakhvi had also raised concerns in the US, UK, Russia, France and Germany with Washington calling for him to be rearrested.
Lakhvi and six others – Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum – have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.
Lakhvi, 55, a close relative of LeT founder and Jamaat-Ud Dawa (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 attack case.
The trial has been underway since 2009.
A Pakistani court had on April 9 set free Lakhvi, a move which India said “eroded” the value of assurances repeatedly conveyed to it by Pakistan on cross-border terrorism.
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