Islamabad/ New Delhi: Mumbai terror attack's alleged mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was sent by a Pakistani court to two-day judicial remand in an fresh case Tuesday, a day after India strongly raised concerns over his imminent release.
Indian political parties and foreign policy observers however expressed dissatisfaction with Pakistan authorities slapping an abduction case against Lakhvi and termed it an eyewash. They said he should be prosecuted in the Mumbai terror attack case.
Lakhvi was detained late Monday after he was booked in the abduction case, media reports said Tuesday.
He was produced in a court in Islamabad and the prosecutor sought seven days judicial custody, which was not acceded to by the judge who remanded Lakhvi to two days judicial custody, Geo TV reported.
Lakhvi was said to be involved in the abduction of a man named Anwar, Dawn online said.
Lakhvi was arrested in February 2009 for masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that left 166 people dead. He was indicted with six others Nov 25, 2009 on the basis of the confessional statement of the lone surviving attacker Ajmal Kasab, who was executed in India Nov 21, 2012.
A fresh FIR was lodged Monday night against Lakhvi for his involvement in the abduction case.
Lakhvi was arrested by the police and taken into protective custody at the Shalimar police station in Lahore as there was no suitable place to accommodate him at the Golra police station in Islamabad.
The new FIR was lodged after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday suspended Lakhvi's detention order that was issued by the Islamabad district administration soon after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) granted him bail Dec 18.
India had Monday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to convey its "strong concern" over lack of effective action in case and said there appeared no end to that country remaining a safe haven for terror groups despite its own recent tragedies.
Rajiv Dogra, former ambassador and India's last consul general in Karachi, said that Lakhvi getting sent to two days judicial custody was no consolation to India.
"India had wanted justice to be done and sentencing to be formally given to an accused who is responsible for the Mumbai terror attack. Instead, Pakistan has played a trick by booking him in an entirely irrelevant case from India's point of view," Dogra told IANS.
He said that whether Lakhvi was given a sentence in the fresh case does not make much difference to India's concerns on 26/11.
"So, this is just an eyewash by Pakistan to cool down feelings in India temporarily and to carry on with business as usual," he said.
Former Indian Indian high commissioner to Pakistan G. Parthasarthy said that Lakhvi's remand in an abduction case was of "no matter to us" and India wants action against him in the Mumbai terror attack.
He said that Pakistan was supposed to have challenged the court order concerning his trial in Mumbai attack case.
Noting the lower court had commented that the case filed against Lakhvi did not bear scrutiny, Parthasarthy said Pakistan authorities had "deliberately not provided full evidence (against Lakhvi) including that gathered by the judicial commission and the David Headley trial proceedings".
The former diplomat said he was "not at all hopeful" about prosecution of Lakhvi.
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told IANS that the prosecution in Pakistan was taking only half-hearted measures.
"One expects Pakistan will show sincerity and not merely take tentative measures. Lakhvi is a test case for Pakistan. Convictions in the 26/11 will show whether Pakistan is sincere in fighting terror," he said.
Congress leader Raashid Alvi said that Pakistan had apparently taken decision to slap fresh case against Lakhvi under India's pressure.
"They should have argued in the court of law against Lakhvi (on 26/11). They should have convinced the court," he said.
Alvi accused Pakistan government of taking the 26/11 case "very lightly and not learning any lesson from the recent terror attack in which school children were targeted".