Pakistan says committed to fight terrorism after Lakhvi's release
Islamabad: Pakistan said on Friday that it would be improper to doubt its commitment to countering terrorism after India vehemently protested the release of the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.
"The case of Mumbai attack suspects is sub-judice. It would not be proper to cast aspersions on Pakistan's commitment to countering terrorism at a time when Pakistan has entered a critical stage of defeating the menace of terrorism," Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Tasneem Alam said.
She added that the "inordinate delay in extending cooperation by India complicated the case and weakened the prosecution".
"We respect the judicial process and are confident that it would serve the interest of justice."
Lakhvi was released after the Lahore High Court suspended his detention on Thursday. India's Congress and BJP had accused Pakistan of not being serious in fighting terrorism.
Lakhvi was released overnight from Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail without any announcement by the jail authorities or the Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD), the organisation that Lakhvi was affiliated with, according to a Geo TV report.
India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed Lakhvi's release as "unfortunate" and "disappointing".
India's external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin on Thursday said that the Pakistani court's order had eroded "the value of assurances repeatedly conveyed to us with regard to cross border terrorism".
"The fact is that known terrorists not being effectively prosecuted constitutes a real security threat for India and the world," Akbaruddin said.
French President Francois Hollande, during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Paris on Friday expressed shock at Lakhvi's release.