Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi also written as Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhavi (born c. 1960), is a top leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba and currently serves as Supreme Commander of operations in Kashmir and as a member of LeT's General Council. He is listed on the NIA Most Wanted list.
Lakhvi, said to be 48 years old as of December 2008, was born in the Okara district of Punjab, Pakistan. He has directed military actions in Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq and South-east Asia and is referred to as Chachu, or Uncle, by the young trainees.
In 1999 at a three-day annual congregation held at Muridke, he explained the reason for fidayeen suicide squad missions in the aftermath of the Kargil War: "After the Pakistani withdrawal from Kargil and the Nawaz-Clinton statement in Washington, it was important to boost the morale of the Kashmiri people... These Fidayen missions were initiated to teach India a lesson as they were celebrating after the Kargil war. He said that the next target would be New Delhi.[when?]
In 2006, he asked LeT's members to begin training operatives for suicide bombings. In the past, he told operatives to mount attacks in well-populated areas. Indian officials claim Lakhvi also oversaw Azam Cheema, who has been accused of being a leader in the 2006 bombing of the Mumbai rail network that killed more than 200 and left 700 injured.
Involvement in November 2008 Mumbai Attacks
On December 3, 2008 Indian officials named him as one of four possible major planners behind the November 2008 Mumbai Attacks. He reportedly offered to pay the family of Ajmal Kasab the sum of Rs.150,000 for his participation in the attacks. On December 7, 2008 Pakistani armed forces arrested Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi in a raid on an LeT training camp near Muzafarabad in Pakistani Kashmir. He was among 12 people detained. Pakistan confirmed the arrest but refused to hand over any of its citizens to Indian authorities. Officials stated that any Pakistani citizen accused of involvement in the attack would be tried in Pakistan.
On February 12, 2009 Rehman Malik, adviser to the prime minister on the interior, stated that Lakhvi was still in custody and under investigation as the foremost mastermind behind the attacks.
On 25 November 2009, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court formally charged seven suspects, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, with planning and helping execute the Mumbai attacks, an action that came a day before the first anniversary of the brazen assault.
On 18 December 2014, two days after the Peshawar school attack where 132 school children were massacred by Pakistani Taliban, the Pakistani anti-terrorism court granted bail to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in Mumbai attacks case against payment of surety bonds worth Rs. 500,000. On December 19, Lakhvi's bail was rejected by the high court. Pakistan assured that Lakhvi was not released and was in jail. The step was called 'positive' by Indian government On 7 January 2015; Lakhvi bail was rejected by supreme court and the case referred back to the high court, who reinstated the bail; though he may still remain in jail for a month in a kidnapping case. The surety bond required from Rehman Lakhvi has a value of 200,000 (US$3,100). Lakhvi was released from jail on bail on April 10, 2015.
It is blamed that both the Pakistan Army and the ISI are trying to ensure that crucial evidence against Lakhvi in the Mumbai terror attack case, most of which is available in Pakistan itself, is not presented before the court. Some reports further says that the Pakistan Army and the ISI want Lakhvi out of jail at the earliest so that he can plan further attacks against India. During his stay in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, he has been provided access to a cellphone and permission to meet his close associates.
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