Updated: December 20, 2014 7:52:25 am
Outraged over the grant of bail by a Pakistani court to 26/11 accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the Lok Sabha spoke in one voice Friday and adopted a resolution asking the government to “take every step in its power, including through its relations with other countries, to put pressure on Pakistan to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion”.
The government said it had asked the Pakistan government to ensure that the grant of bail to Lakhvi is reversed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the House that this “attitude” of Pakistan, especially after the outpouring of grief and sorrow across India over the massacre of children in Peshawar, had come as a “great shock” and had been conveyed in the “strongest words” to Islamabad.
Referring to the Peshawar massacre, Modi said: “The pain felt in India was no less than that in Pakistan. Every Indian was in tears. And this kind of an attitude immediately after that has come as a great shock to all those who believe in humanity.”
He told the House that sentiments expressed by members would be reflected in the steps the government takes on the matter.
Speaking shortly after the Prime Minister, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India rejected the claim of insufficient evidence as ground for bail to Lakhvi. “We demand that the Pakistan government get this decision overturned immediately. We are keeping a watch on its response.”
“By releasing Lakhvi on bail, the Pakistan government has made a mockery of its pledge to fight terror groups without condition or discrimination. It only emboldens the terrorists responsible for the heinous crime in Peshawar.”
She said there was no doubt that 26/11 plot was hatched in Pakistan. “99 per cent evidence is available in Pakistan and Pakistani investigators had six years to collect the evidence. It is their responsibility to collect evidence and ensure that the accused are punished.”
On the Peshawar massacre, Swaraj said: “We felt the pain of the families whose loved ones were killed in the attack. That day not only were their children killed but a part of humanity died.”
Earlier, members cut across party lines to condemn the grant of bail to Lakhvi and urged the government to take necessary steps. Several MPs said that the 26/11 plotters should be turned over to India if the Pakistan government and courts can’t bring them to justice.
The Lok Sabha adopted a resolution “reflecting the unanimous sense of the House” which noted “it seems that the lesson that there should be no compromise with terrorists has not been learnt”.
“Lok Sabha unanimously condemns the decision to grant bail to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi… We are concerned at the numerous delays in the prosecution and the apathetic attitude of the government of Pakistan which has resulted in the grant of bail to an accused terrorist.”
The House called upon the Pakistani government to “proceed strongly” with its declared intention to appeal the bail judgment and “ensure that on no account is such an individual permitted to be released”.
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