Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi release is blocked, for now

Islamabad :  Mumbai terror attack accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, whose bail in Pakistan had sparked an outrage in India, was on Friday not released from Rawalpindi jail. Instead, the Pakistan government has detained him for three months under a preventive detention law.

Under international and media glare in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre, the Pakistani authorities stepped in swiftly and invoked the provisions of Maintenance of Public Order to keep Lakhvi in jail for at least three months.

The order of detention was handed over to the Adiala Jail superintendent before Lakh-vi’s counsel could show his bail order. The prosecution chief in the case said that the government has also decided in principle to challenge the trial court’s decision in the high court. The appeal is likely to be filed on Monday.

However, Lakhvi’s counsel called his detention unfortunate and said it has been done to frustrate court orders. The decision to release Lakhvi has drawn sharp criticism from India and surprised many by its timing — just days after Taliban massacred 148 people, mostly schoolchildren, in Peshawar.

It is understood that Lakhvi’s detention was facilitated on the intervention of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

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