Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi

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Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi
ذکی الرحمٰن لکھوی
Co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba
Personal details
Born (1960-12-30) 30 December 1960 (age 62)
Okara District, Punjab, Pakistan
Known for2008 Mumbai attacks

Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi[1] (Urdu: ذکی الرحمٰن لکھوی, born 30 December 1960) is a Pakistani terrorist and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba.[2] One of the prime perpetrators in the 2008 Mumbai Attacks, he features on India's NIA Most Wanted list. In January 2021, he was arrested by Pakistani authorities and sentenced to three concurrent five-year sentences in jail for terror financing in an unrelated case.[3]

A graduate of Jamia Mohammadia in Gujranwala, an Ahl-e-Hadith school, he has been considered by Amir Hamza, a co-founder of the LeT, as "the architect of Salafi jihad in Pakistan".[4] He has orchestrated terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq and South-East Asia and he is referred to as Chachu, or Uncle, by trainees.[5][6]

After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, he was designated by the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee of the Security Council.[7] He is also listed on the United States Department of the Treasury's Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. His addresses therein are listed at Renala Khurd Tehsil in Okara District and Bhara Kahu in Islamabad.[8]

Early life and activities[edit]

Lakhvi was born on 30 December 1960 in the Okara district of Punjab, Pakistan.[9][10] Belonging to the Lakhokay (village) caste, his mother is Maulana Moeenuddin Lakhviʹs stepsister,[11] an Ahl-e-Hadith scholar and leader who died in 2011 at the age of 93.[12]

In 1982, he would participate in the Afghan Jihad, eventually becoming LeT's military chief.[13]

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."[14] He said that the next target would be New Delhi.[15]

In 2006, he asked LeT's members to begin training operatives for suicide bombings.[5] 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.[5]

In May 2008, the US Treasury Department announced that it had frozen the assets of four Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders including Lakhvi.[6]

2008 Mumbai attacks[edit]

On 3 December 2008 Indian officials named him as one of four possible major planners behind the November 2008 Mumbai Attacks.[16] He reportedly offered to pay the family of Ajmal Kasab the sum of Rs.150,000 for his participation in the attacks.[17] On 7 December 2008 Pakistani armed forces arrested Lakhvi in a raid on an LeT training camp near Muzafarabad in Pakistani Kashmir.[18] He was among 12 people detained.[19] Pakistan confirmed the arrest but refused to hand over any of its citizens to Indian authorities.[20] Officials stated that any Pakistani citizen accused of involvement in the attack would be tried in Pakistan.[21]

On 12 February 2009 Rehman Malik, Interior Minister, stated that Lakhvi was still in custody and under investigation as the foremost mastermind behind the attacks.[22][23]

On 25 November 2009 a Pakistani anti-terrorism court formally charged seven suspects, including LeT commander Lakhvi, with planning and helping execute the Mumbai attacks, an action that came a day before the first anniversary of the brazen assault.[24]

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 Lakhvi in Mumbai attacks case against payment of surety bonds worth Rs. 500,000.[25] On 19 December Lakhvi's bail was rejected by the high court.[26] Pakistan assured that Lakhvi was not released and was in jail.[27] The step was called 'positive' by Indian government.[28]

On 7 January 2015 Lakhvi's bail was rejected by the Supreme Court[29][30] and the case referred back to the high court, who reinstated the bail;[31] though he may still remain in jail for a month in a kidnapping case.[32][33][34] The surety bond required from Lakhvi has a value of US $2,300. Lakhvi was released from jail on bail on 10 April 2015;[35] he was arrested again in Lahore on 2 January 2021.[36][37]

State patronage[edit]

It is widely held that both the Pakistan Army and the ISI have ensured that crucial evidence against Lakhvi in the Mumbai terror attack case is not presented before the court.[38][39] During his stay in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, he was provided access to a cellphone and permission to meet his close associates.[38][39][40][41]

China has blocked the United Nations' attempts to place Lakhvi on its list of suspected terrorists whose financial assets should be frozen.[42]


  1. ^ "Pakistan Court Adjourns Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi Hearing as 'Judge on Leave'". 26 March 2015.
  2. ^ "MMP: Lashkar-e-Taiba".
  3. ^ "Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, suspected Mumbai attack leader, jailed in Pakistan". BBC. 8 January 2021. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  4. ^ The Herald, Volume 40, Issue 1
  5. ^ a b c Buncombe, Andrew (8 December 2008). "'Uncle' named as Mumbai terror conspirator". The Independent. Retrieved 17 December 2008.
  6. ^ a b "US freezes assets of Lashkar leaders". The Economic Times. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
  7. ^ "AQ Sanctions List".
  8. ^ "LAKHVI, Zaki-ur-Rehman".
  9. ^ Mir, Amir (19 January 2009). "LeT It Be Known: This Is Lakhvi". Outlook. India. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  10. ^ Computational Analysis of Terrorist Groups: Lashkar-e-Taiba, Springer Science & Business Media, 2012, p. 31
  11. ^ Don Rassler, C. Christine Fair, Anirban Ghosh, Arif Jamal and Nadia Shoeb, The Fighters of Lashkar-e-Taiba: Recruitment, Training, Deployment and Death, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (2013) report, p. 23
  12. ^ PTI (10 December 2011), "Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith leader Maulana Moeenuddin Lakhvi dies", Times of India. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  13. ^ Praveen Swami (12 December 2009), "Ties that bind: Lashkar and the global jihad", The Hindu. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  14. ^ "The Fidayen -- faithful to the death". Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. 12 November 1999. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
  15. ^ "Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Ameer, Mujahideen-e-Lashker-e-Taiba". Archived from the original on 26 January 2000. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
  16. ^ Rondeaux, Candace (4 December 2008). "Rice Increases Pressure on Pakistan". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  17. ^ Swami, Praveen (1 December 2008). "Pakistan now holds the key to probe: investigators". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  18. ^ Singh, Harmeet Shah (8 December 2008). "Pakistan raids camp over Mumbai attacks". CNN. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  19. ^ Ahmad, Munir (8 December 2008). "Pakistan arrests suspected Mumbai plotter". AP. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Pakistan snubs India over arrests". BBC News. 9 December 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2008.
  21. ^ "Pakistan arrests Mumbai suspects". Al Jazeera. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
  22. ^ Masood, Salman (12 February 2009). "Pakistan Announces Arrests for Mumbai Attacks". New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
  23. ^ Haider, Kamran (12 February 2009). "Pakistan says it arrests Mumbai attack plotters". Reuters. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
  24. ^ "Pak anti-terror court declares Lakhvi as 26/11 mastermind". Express India. 25 November 2009. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  25. ^ "ATC approves bail of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in Mumbai attacks case". Dawn News. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  26. ^ "Government detains Zakiur rehman lakhvi under maintenance of public order". Express Tribune. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  27. ^ "Pakistan assures Lakhvi in jail". Zee news. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  28. ^ "Ajit Doval terms detention of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as 'positive'". Zee news. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  29. ^ "26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi to remain in jail, Pakistan Supreme Court rejects bail order". Ibnlive. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  30. ^ "26/11 plotter Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi to remain in jail". Times of India. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  31. ^ "Pak court grants bail to Mumbai terror attack accused Lakhvi". Yahoo! News. Yahoo!. Yahoo India. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  32. ^ "Pakistan court grants bail to 26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi but he may stay in jail". CNN IBN. 9 January 2015. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  33. ^ "Lakhvi gets bail, again". Dawn, Pakistan. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  34. ^ "26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi granted bail, but will remain in jail". Zee Media. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  35. ^ "Mumbai attack suspect Lakhvi released on bail in Pakistan". BBC News. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  36. ^ "Pakistan arrests key militant on terror financing charges". ABC News. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  37. ^ Gabol, Imran (2 January 2021). "LeT leader Lakhvi arrested from Lahore on terrorism financing charge: CTD". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  38. ^ a b "'Pakistan Army and ISI want Lakhvi out'". The Asian Age.
  39. ^ a b Surabhi Malik, Prasad Sanyal (28 June 2012). "ISI destroyed 26/11 control room in Karachi after Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi's arrest: Abu Jundal".
  40. ^ "Dawood Ibrahim protected by ISI, Lakhvi calls shots in LeT: Abdul Karim Tunda". Zee News. 18 August 2013.
  41. ^ Nanjappa, Vicky (20 November 2020). "Televisions, mobiles, cars, conjugal rights: The VIP Jihadis of Pakistan". Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  42. ^ Anirban Bhaumik (11 March 2019). "Uyghurs want India to call out "repressive" China". Deccan Herald. New Delhi. Retrieved 22 March 2019. If China is so serious about fighting terrorism that it puts thousands of Uyghurs under surveillance and "re-education camps", why does it repeatedly block attempts at the United Nations to impose sanctions on the terrorists like Masood Azhar and Zak...

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