Pakistan court extends detention of 'Mumbai attacks mastermind'

Pakistan court extends detention of 'Mumbai attacks mastermind'
Pakistani security personnel escort Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi (C), alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, as he leaves the court in Islamabad on December 30, 2014.

ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani court Thursday sent the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks to jail for two weeks in the latest round of a tussle over his detention that has worsened ties with India.

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, accused over the terror siege in India's commercial capital, was granted bail on December 18 by an anti-terror court but authorities later detained him under a public order law which was suspended by Islamabad High Court on Monday.

On Tuesday, police told a lower court that Lakhvi was accused in the kidnapping of a man six and half years ago, with the judge granting police his custody for two days to investigate.

The same court Thursday sent him for a further two weeks to Rawalpindi's Adiala jail, defence lawyer Rizwan Abbasi told AFP.

The Mumbai attacks left 166 people dead and were blamed on banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). India has long seethed at Pakistan's failure either to hand over or prosecute those accused of planning and organising the violence.

Lakhvi and six other suspects have been charged in Pakistan but their cases have made virtually no progress in more than five years.

The decision to grant Lakhvi bail on December 18 drew an angry response from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, worsening tense ties with India.

It was also seen as an embarrassment for Pakistan's government, which has promised to crack down on all terror groups - including those that target arch-rival India - in the aftermath of a Taliban school massacre that killed 150 people, mostly children.

The government also approached the country's Supreme Court Thursday to reinstate Lakhvi's detention under the public order law.

"The federal government through the office of attorney general today challenged that cancellation of detention order in Supreme Court of Pakistan," government prosecutor Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry told AFP.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a charitable organisation seen as a front for LeT, operates openly in the country and its leaders frequently appear on television delivering fiery speeches against India.

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