Despite Being Crippled With Terrorism, Pak Bails A Terrorist


It had hardly been two days since over hundred Pakistani school children were massacred by the Talibani militants in Peshawar and now, on Thursday, the anti-terrorism court in Pakistan provided bail to a Lashkar- e-Taiba (LeT) operation commander, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. Lakhvi is accused of plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attack that left 166 people dead. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2009 and now he has been given a bail despite the evidence against him.

The prosecution said that they will challenge the decision in the court. Prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar said, “We have so far produced 46 witnesses in the court who have testified against all seven accused- Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum. Only 15 more witnesses have to testify against them in coming days. Lakhvi’s bail has come when the trial is likely to be concluded in three to four weeks.

It has just been a day or two since Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledged to eradicate terrorism and lifted the moratorium on death penalty in terror cases and now the country has allowed a terrorist to walk away from imprisonment. The decision has come as a shock to many. When the world was expecting Pakistan to take sterner stance against terrorism after the carnage it witnessed on Tuesday that took the lives of 132 innocent children in uniforms, the Pak court has left us doubting its intensions with terrorism. Have they still not learnt a lesson?

Pakistan always seems to be reluctant when it comes to moving the case towards the conviction of the 26/11 attack masterminds and suspects. The trial of Lakhvi has been adjourned various times. There have been frequent non-appearances of lawyers, vacation of judges and frequent changes of prosecution lawyers. Even the alleged principal mastermind of the 26/11 attack roams the streets of Pakistan freely delivering hate speeches on India and the Pakistani government has done nothing about it.

Even several Pakistani news channels avoided broadcasting the news of Lakhvi’s bail by the Pakistani anti-terrorism court in the backdrop of the Peshawar tragedy. Pakistan needs to learn that before attacking the Talibani terrorists in Afghanistan, they need to clear the terrorists who reside and walk freely under its nose. The Pak government cannot just go after the terrorists who harm its citizens and let others walk freely. It is time that Pakistan wakes up and starts cleaning its own premises of the crust it has developed and nourished over several years, only then can it be truly free of terrorism that cripples the country.

On a positive note, reciprocating India’s support for Pakistan over the Peshwar school massacre, scores of Pakistani citizens have also taken to Twitter and other social media sites siding India’s stance against the bail of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and condemning all terrorsits with #PakistanWithIndiaNoToLakhviBail

Namrata Tripathi

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