A Pakistan court on Friday sentenced Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a senior commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba, to five years in jail and fined him 3 lakh Pakistani Rupee (over Rs 1.36 lakh) for terror financing, the Dawn reported. He was sentenced to five year’s imprisonment, to be served concurrently, under three sections of Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act, for running a dispensary in Kot Lakhpat in the country’s Punjab province, to raise funds for financing terrorism.
United Nations-proscribed Lakhvi was arrested by the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department in Pakistan on January 2, according to Dawn. The 61-year old was identified as one of the masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
India has long called on Pakistan to try Lakhvi for the attack, in which over 160 people were killed, but Islamabad has said that Delhi has not given it concrete evidence that it can use in a court to try the LeT leader, according to Reuters. Lakhvi was initially arrested in 2008 but was later released on bail.
On Friday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs criticised Pakistan, saying that the action was “farcical”. “The timing of these actions clearly suggests the intention of conveying a sense of compliance ahead of the Asia Pacific Group meeting and next FATF plenary meeting in February 2021,” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said, according to Mint.
According to India, Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman of the attack, who was executed in 2012, told interrogators that the assailants were in touch with Pakistan-born Lakhvi, who is said to be Lashkar-e-Taiba’s chief of operations.
A UN Security Council sanctions committee says Lakhvi is involved in militant activity in a number of other regions and countries, including Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, Reuters reported.