Ensure reversal of Lakhvi bail: India tells Pak

India today asked Pakistan to ensure immediate reversal of the bail granted to Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi as an outraged Parliament denounced the development, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said has come as a “shock”.

Sinking their political differences, members cutting across party lines in Lok Sabha condemned the development and wanted the government to take all necessary steps to ensure punishment to the perpetrators of the heinous crime committed on November 26, 2008.

As members were expressing their views, Modi came to the House and spoke on the development. This was immediately followed by a detailed statement by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and a quickly-drafted House resolution.

Modi said the bail granted to Lakhvi yesterday has come as a “shock” to all those who believe in humanity world over, particularly after every Indian shared the pain of the massacre of Pakistani children in Peshawar on Tuesday.

After bail was granted to Lakhvi, India immediately conveyed its sentiments in the “strongest terms” to Pakistan, he said and assured the House that the sentiments expressed by the members will be reflected in government’s actions.

Modi referred to the massacre of children by terrorists in a school in Peshawar. “The pain felt in India was no less than that felt in Pakistan. Every Indian had tears in eyes… But immediately after that this kind of behaviour has come as shock to all those who believe in humanity,” he said.

Swaraj said by allowing bail to Lakhvi, Pakistan has made mockery of its pledge to fight terrorism “without any condition or discrimination” and asserted that Pakistan should immediately get this decision overturned.

“We do not accept this fact that Lakhvi, who is the 26/11 mastermind and has been declared an international terrorist by the UN, is released on bail…. We demand that Pakistan government should have this decision overturned immediately. We are keeping a watch on its response.”

Asserting that it is Pakistan’s responsibility to ensure punishment to those behind the Mumbai attack by furnishing evidence, she said, “We reject this argument that there is lack of adequate evidence.”

The resolution adopted by Lok Sabha condemned the bail granted to Lakhvi and asked the government to take “all steps in its power, including through its relations with foreign countries, to put pressure on Pakistan to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion.