US warns Pakistan over release of Lakhvi

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WASHINGTON:

The United States has warned Pakistan of the fact that there may be dire consequences to freeing Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, one of the key suspects in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

On Friday, the Lahore High Court set aside official orders to keep Lakhvi in prison and set him free.

But on Saturday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam blamed India for the release, saying that New Delhi’s “inordinate delay” in providing evidence of Lakhvi’s involvement in the attack “weakened the prosecution’s case”.

At the State Department, spokesperson Jeff Rathke indicated that such explanations were not enough to satisfy the US administration.

“We are gravely concerned about the release on bail of alleged Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi,” he told a news briefing in Washington.

“We have communicated that concern to senior Pakistani officials over the course of many months, and as recently as yesterday.”

He said that terrorist attacks were an assault on the collective safety and security of all countries and Pakistan had pledged its cooperation in bringing the perpetrators, financiers, and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice.

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