Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi
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Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi
|Co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba|
|Born||30 December 1960|
Okara district Punjab, Pakistan
|Known for||2008 Mumbai attacks|
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi (born 30 December 1960) is a Pakistani terrorist and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba. One of the prime involvees 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.
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". He has orchestrated terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq and South-East Asia and is referred to as Chachu, or Uncle, by trainees.
Early life and activities
Lakhvi was born 30 December 1960 in the Okara district of Punjab, Pakistan. Belonging to the Lakhokay (village) caste, his mother is Maulana Moeenuddin Lakhviʹs stepsister, an Ahl-e-Hadith scholar and leader who passed away in 2011, at the age of 93.
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.
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.
2008 Mumbai attacks
On 3 December 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 7 December 2008 Pakistani armed forces arrested 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 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.
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. On 19 December, 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's bail was rejected by the 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 Lakhvi has a value of US $2,300. Lakhvi was released from jail on bail on 10 April 2015; he was arrested again in Lahore on 2 January 2021.
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. During his stay in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, he was provided access to a cellphone and permission to meet his close associates.
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Anirban Bhaumik (11 March 2019). "Uyghurs want India to call out "repressive" China". Deccan Herald. New Delhi. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
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