New Delhi: Criticising Pakistan for failure to contain extremist groups, an influential US Senator today asked it to either hand over Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi to India or present him to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity.
Chairman of the powerful US House Foreign Relations Committee Ed Royce also said “certain families in Gulf states” are funding 600 Deobandi schools in Pakistan which was a major cause of concern.
Identifying terrorism as a major threat facing the region, Royce slammed ISI, saying there was a need to strengthen the civilian government while trying to dissuade the Pakistani spy agency from types of conduct it had been engaged in.
Without naming Lakhvi, Royce, who is leading a bipartisan congressional delegation, said Pakistan must bring to justice Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case and wondered how Lakhvi is taking visitors instead of facing action.
“The same individual (Lakhvi) today is taking visitors and is not being brought to court of justice. What I called for is for Pakistan to turn that individual over to India or if Pakistan won't do that which thay should do, then turn him to International Criminal Court in The Hague where he will be tried for crimes against humanity,” he told reporters here.
Lakhvi and six others have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November 2008 that left 166 people dead.
A Pakistani anti-terrorism court last month had adjourned for a month the hearing on the government's appeal against the bail granted to Lakhvi by the trial court.
Royce met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday and discussed various issues, including threat of terrorism in the region.