Slamming Pakistan for failure to contain extremist groups, the visiting chairman of the US House Foreign Relations Committee Ed Royce Tuesday asked Islamabad to either hand over Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi to India or present him to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity.
Royce added that “certain families in Gulf states” are funding 600 Deobandi schools in Pakistan which was a major cause of concern. He slammed Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI, saying there was a need to strengthen the civilian government while trying to dissuade ISI from types of conduct it had been allegedly engaged in.
Without naming Lakhvi, Royce said Pakistan must bring to justice the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists involved in the 26/11 Mumbai case. “The same individual (Lakhvi) today is taking visitors… What I called for is for Pakistan to turn that individual over to India or if they won’t do that, which they should do, then turn him to International Criminal Court where he will be tried for crimes against humanity,” he said.
Lakhvi and six others have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attack in November 2008 that left 166 people dead.
Asked why the US was not being able to put pressure on Pakistan to dismantle terror infrastructure, Royce said there was a need to strengthen the civilian government in that country.
Referring to Deobandi schools in Pakistan, he said they are “not only dangerous” for the region, but “dangerous” for Pakistan as well. “I would add that there is another problem and that is money coming from the Gulf states, from certain families in the Gulf states that fund these specific 600 Deobandi schools.
“There is a need to cut off those funds coming to the region. Its not just a problem in Pakistan. Those funds are going to central Asia funding other Deobandi schools,” he said.