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Kidnapping case used to jail Lashkar terrorist Lakhvi

By Shahzad Raza for Rediff.com
December 30, 2014 15:51 IST
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'The purpose is not to jail him for kidnapping,' a Pakistani security official told Rediff.com, 'But we cannot let him go. We have to keep him behind bars one way or another.'

Shahzad Raza reports for Rediff.com from Islamabad.

Zaki-ur Rehman LakhviAn Islamabad district court on Tuesday, December 30, handed over Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist and alleged mastermind of the 26/11 attacks, to the police on two-day physical remand.

Lakhvi faces charges of kidnapping Muhammad Zareef, a resident of Islamabad, six years ago.

On Monday, December 29, the Islamabad police registered a case of kidnapping based on a complaint filed by Muhammad Daood, Zareef's uncle.

Lakhvi was produced before the judge under tight security on Tuesday morning. Hundreds of policemen and Pakistan Rangers personnel were deployed in and around the district courts in downtown Islamabad.

The latest charge of kidnapping against Lakhvi seems minor compared to his alleged role in the massacre of 164 people between November 26 and 29 in Mumbai.

Duty Magistrate Malik Aman heard the latest charges against Lakhvi. Before granting a two-day physical remand, the judge directed the police to produce Lakhvi before him on Thusday, January 1.

Rizwan Abbasi, Lakhvi's counsel, told journalists outside the district courts that the case filed against his client was fake. "My client is being implicated in a fake case. There is no evidence against him," Abbasi said.

On December 18, anti-terrorism court Judge Kosar Abbas Naqvi granted bail to Lakhvi in the Mumbai attacks case for lack of evidence.

Soon after Naqvi's release order, the Pakistani authorities detained the terrorist under the Maintenance of Public Order -- an act that empowers the Pakistan government to jail anyone for a maximum of 90 days.

After Lakhvi challenged his detention before the Islamabad high court, high court Judge Noorul Haq Qureshi declared his detention illegal and ordered his release on Monday.

Lakhvi was meant to be released after depositing a surety bond of Pakistani Rs 1 million.

The Indian government summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to the ministry of external affairs and registered its strong protest against Lakhvi's release.

Sources said the decision to charge Lakhvi in a kidnapping case was made at a late night meeting on Monday, attended by representatives of Pakistan's intelligence agencies.

"The purpose is not to jail him for kidnapping," a Pakistani security official told Rediff.com, "But we cannot let him go. We have to keep him behind bars one way or another."

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Shahzad Raza for Rediff.com in Islamabad
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