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26/11 attack accused killed 6 months before the assault in a drone strike: Witness

The witness, Bhalol Khan, recorded his statement in the Anti-Terrorism Court (Islamabad), which is holding the trial of seven Mumbai attack accused, including LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.
File Photo

A witness in the Mumbai terror attack case on Wednesday claimed before a Pakistani anti-terrorism court that his brother, one of the accused in the case, was killed in a US drone strike in Waziristan six months before the 26/11 attack.The witness, Bhalol Khan, recorded his statement in the Anti-Terrorism Court (Islamabad), which is holding the trial of seven Mumbai attack accused, including LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.Bhalol told the court, which is hearing the case at the high security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, that his brother Abdullah alias Saddam, one of the accused in terror attack case, was killed in a US drone attack in Wana on May 31, 2008. He claimed that his brother was killed some six months before the Mumbai attack took place on November 26, 2008.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The other three witnesses did not turn up in the court to record their statements. The court adjourned the hearing till July 23.According to the Federal Investigation Agency’s Red Book, Abdullah was involved in the Pakistan Air Force Kamra Air base attack in 2008 and assassination attempt on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.Lakhvi, 55, and six other accused – Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum – have been lodged in Adiala Jail for nearly six years in connection with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November, 2008 that left 166 people killed.Lakhvi was released from jail on April 10 after securing bail. Ten other co-accused, said to be either trainers or facilitators of the terrorists who launched the attacks in Mumbai, had been declared “proclaimed offenders or fugitives” by the anti-terrorism court.

Xi Jinping and I committed to take India-China ties to new heights: PM Narendra Modi

During his meeting with XI, Modi yesterday “strongly” and “clearly” conveyed concerns to him over China blocking a proposal for action by the UN against Pakistan on the release of jailed Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

PM Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he had a “comprehensive” meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and both of them are “strongly committed” to take bilateral ties to “new heights”, a day after raising strong concerns over China’s move to block action against Pakistan over Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi’s release.”I met President Xi Jinping once again, this time in Ufa, Russia where we both are attending the BRICS and SCO Summit,” Modi said in his post on the Chinese social media Weibo, akin to Twitter in China, where he had thousands of followers ever since he opened his account ahead of his visit here in May. The two leaders met last night on the sidelines of the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits in Ufa. “Our meeting was very comprehensive and several issues were discussed, both about India-China ties and global affairs. Both of us are strongly committed to taking India-China ties to new heights and increasing our economic, cultural and people-to-people relations,” Modi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During his meeting with XI, Modi yesterday “strongly” and “clearly” conveyed concerns to him over China blocking a proposal for action by the UN against Pakistan on the release of jailed Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. The two sides felt that the issue should be discussed further at the level of officials. He also voiced concerns over the $46 billion economic corridor that China is building with Pakistan as it crosses Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which India considers its part. “Friends, I am in Ufa along with several world leaders. I am confident the BRICS & SCO Summits will be very productive and the outcomes will benefit the entire world,” he said. Modi had also posted three photos including Xi and him shaking hands at Ufa followed by their meeting along with respective delegations.During their talks, Xi called for proper management of differences over border issue and told Prime Minister Modi that China and India should work together to build a closer, comprehensive and firmer partnership among BRICS countries. The two sides should properly manage and control their differences on the boundary issue and jointly safeguard peace and security in the border areas, Xi said. This is the fourth bilateral meeting between the two leaders since their first in Fortaleza, Brazil, last July. Xi and Modi visited each other’s countries and hometowns in 2014 and 2015 respectively.Xi recalled his meeting with Modi in his hometown Xi’an, where the two leaders reached important consensuses on enriching the bilateral strategic partnership and forging a closer partnership of development, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China has dual standards on terrorism: Shiv Sena on Lakhvi case

“On one hand, China brutally crushes terrorism in its state and on the other hand supports the perpetrators of terrorism in India. This is China’s double standards,” the Sena said in its editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

Shiv Sena on Thursday accused China of adopting “double standards” in dealing with terrorism after it blocked India’s move in the UN demanding action against Pakistan over release of the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind and LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.”The (UN) sanctions committee has five permanent and 10 non-permanent UN member states in it. Out of these, almost all countries, including the US, Britain, Russia, France and Germany supported India’s stand, but China opposed it.”On one hand, China brutally crushes terrorism in its state and on the other hand supports the perpetrators of terrorism in India. This is China’s double standards,” the Sena said in its editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sena said 13 Muslims were recently hanged in China’s Xinjiang province for engaging in terrorist attacks and in the past as well hundreds of Muslims have been killed in that country. “China’s ideology seems to be eliminating terrorism from its country but letting terrorist activities flourish in India,” the Sena said.China’s call of Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai (Indians and Chinese are brothers) in 1960 has proved to be a farce time and again in the aftermath, it said.”China supplied atom bombs, missiles, and nuclear reactors to Pakistan to help the country have an edge over India. Except its army, all of Pakistan’s ammunition is provided by China,” the editorial said.Stressing that China can never be India’s friend, Sena said, “What more proof does one need to prove this?..What had to happen in the UN Sanctions meet has happened. But, India needs to be very careful with China in future.”At the UN sanctions committee meeting, the Chinese representatives blocked the move demanding action against Pakistan over Lakhvi’s release on grounds that India did not provide sufficient information.In the wake of the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself taken up the issue with the Chinese leadership.A Pakistani court had on April 9 set free Lakhvi, a development which India said “eroded” the value of assurances repeatedly conveyed to it by Pakistan on cross—border terrorism.

No country should provide shelter to terrorists, says PM Modi after Lakhvi’s release

Paris: On a day Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was released, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave a veiled message to Pakistan, saying no country should provide shelter to terrorists but should punish them.

PM Narendra Modi. PTI

PM Narendra Modi. PTI

“There is a need for global action to deal with terrorism. All nations should commit that they will not provide shelter to terrorists but punish them,” Modi said at a joint press interaction with French President Francois Hollande after their talks in Paris.

Hollande said he understands anger in India over the release of a person who is responsible for such a reprehensible act, a reference to Lakhvi who was behind the attack in Mumbai in November 2008 that claimed 166 lives.

Modi and Hollande discussed the issue of terrorism in the context of recent attack in Paris and release of Lakhvi and decided to intensify cooperation against the menace.

“The world is facing many challenges. There is an upheaval in the world and all are affected…Terror is spreading in new forms in various countries,” the Prime Minister said.

France suffered in Paris when terrorists struck here in January and understands India’s “pain” over terrorism, he said.

“They agreed that India and France must intensify their cooperation within the framework of JWG on Counter-Terrorism, including on information and intelligence sharing on terror networks and work together to share experiences on dealing with the growing phenomenon of radicalisation,” a joint statement said after Modi and Hollande held wide-ranging talks.

“They asked officials on both sides to schedule the next meeting of the JWG on Counter-Terrorism at the earliest,” it said.

The two countries also agreed to commence bilateral dialogue to discuss ways and means of enhancing their cooperation in the maritime domain, in particular in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

“India welcomes closer engagement of France in the affairs of the Indian Ocean Rim Association and will continue to work closely with France in realisation of the objectives enshrined in the Charter of the Association,” the statement said.

“The two leaders noted with satisfaction the holding of second round of the Cyber Dialogue on 17 March 2015 in New Delhi, which outlined new areas of cooperation between France and India in the field of cyber security,” it said.

PTI

Freeing Lakhvi proves that 26/11 was state sponsored: Fadnavis

Fadnavis described the Lahore high court’s decision to release Lakhvi, the alleged military chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, as an “insult to victims” of the attack.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis
Agencies
PTI
Asking Centre to take a “serious note” of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi’s release, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday that the Pakistani action proved that the attack was “state sponsored”. “The development proves that Pakistan’s claim of non-state actors is not true. The Government of India should take a serious note of this,” the CM said. Fadnavis was replying to a query about the release of the main accused of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack from a Pakistani jail after detention orders against him were dropped.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Fadnavis described the Lahore high court’s decision to release Lakhvi, the alleged military chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, as an “insult to victims” of the attack, in which 166 people were killed. Fifty five-year-old Lakhvi, who guided 10 LeT gunmen from a control room in Pakistan during 26/11, walked free after being under detention for six years, a day after a Pakistani court ordered his release. Also Read: 6/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi freed from Pakistan jail

Pakistan blames India for ‘inordinate delay’ in 26/11 trial

The comment made by Pakistan came after India expressed dismay due to the release of 26/11 attack prime accused Zaki-ur- Rehman Lakhvi by Pakistan court.

Lakhvi, who guided 10 LeT gunmen from a control room in Pakistan during 26/11, walked free on Friday after being under detention for six years, a day after a Pakistani court ordered his release.

AFP photo
Pakistan on Friday blamed India for “inordinate delay” in extending cooperation in the 2008 Mumbai attack trial, saying it complicated the case of Zaki-ur- Rehman Lakhvi and weakened the prosecution, leading to the release of the LeT operations commander.”As I had mentioned earlier also, inordinate delay in extending cooperation by India complicated the case and weakened the prosecution. We respect the judicial process and are confident that it would serve the interest of justice,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.”The case of Mumbai attack suspects is sub-judice. It would not be proper to cast aspersions on Pakistan’s commitment to countering terrorism at a time when Pakistan has entered a critical stage of defeating the menace of terrorism,” she said when asked about her Indian counterpart’s remarks on the Lahore High Court ruling, ordering Lakhvi’s release.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fifty five-year-old Lakhvi, who guided 10 LeT gunmen from a control room in Pakistan during 26/11, walked free on Friday after being under detention for six years, a day after a Pakistani court ordered his release.Lakhvi, a close relative of LeT founder and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009, in connection with the 26/11 attack that claimed 166 lives. The trial has been underway since 2009.

Release of Lakhvi unfortunate and disappointing, says Rajnath Singh

Lucknow: Voicing concern over the release of top Lashkar leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said India wants talks with Pakistan but the release of the Mumbai attack mastermind is an “unfortunate and disappointing” development.

“India wants talks with Pakistan but the present development (release of Lakhvi) is unfortunate and disappointing,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Rajnath Singh in a file photo. ReutersRajnath Singh in a file photo. Reuters

Rajnath Singh in a file photo. Reuters

Singh was reacting to the Lahore High Court’s judgement yesterday suspending the detention of 55-year-old Lakhvi under Maintenance of Public Order after the Pakistan government failed to present sensitive records against him in the court.

Asked about alliance partners PDP-BJP in Jammu and Kashmir speaking in different voices on composite townships for settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, Singh said, “An agreement has been reached with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in this regard.”

On the killing of five undertrials, who were allegedly associated with SIMI and other radical groups, in police custody in Nalgonda district in Telangana, he evaded giving a direct reply, saying, the matter was a state subject.

PTI

There are no good, bad terrorists: India tells Pak, wants Lakhvi to remain behind bars

New Delhi: As a court in Islamabad ordered the release of Lashkar terrorist Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, India on Friday said it is the responsibility of Pakistan to keep him behind bars as there is overwhelming evidence of his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Islamabad High Court ordered the release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. Reuters

Islamabad High Court ordered the release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. Reuters

“It is the responsibility of the Pakistan government to take all legal measures to ensure that Lakhvi does not come out of jail. Pakistan should realise that there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists, a fact which has been globally accepted,” a Home Ministry spokesperson said in New Delhi.

The strong reaction came within hours of the Islamabad High Court declaring as void the detention order of the LeT operations commander Lakhvi, who was also the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind.

“The overwhelming evidence against Lakhvi regarding his role in the criminal conspiracy leading to the Mumbai attack has not been properly presented in the Pakistani court by the Pakistani agencies. This should be ensured without delay,” the spokesperson said.

Justice Noorul Haq accepted 55-year-old Lakhvi’s appeal filed against his third time detention orders and ordered his immediate release.

Lakhvi and six others – Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum – have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead.

PTI