The US on Tuesday welcomed the arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi by Pakistani authorities on fees of terror financing but in addition referred to as for his prosecution for his function within the 2008 Mumbai assaults.
“We welcome Pakistan’s arrest of terrorist chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi as an essential step in holding him chargeable for his function in supporting terrorism and its financing,” the US state division’s bureau of South and Central Asian affairs mentioned on Twitter.
“We are going to observe his prosecution & sentencing intently & urge that he be held accountable for his involvement within the Mumbai assaults,” it mentioned.
Lakhvi, one of many alleged masterminds of the Mumbai assaults, was arrested by Pakistani authorities on January 2 on fees of involvement in terror financing, virtually 5 years after he was freed on bail.
His whereabouts had not been identified since he was launched on bail from a jail in Rawalpindi in April 2015. Nonetheless, it was extensively believed he had continued taking part in a key function in directing the actions of LeT even whereas he was in jail after being arrested within the aftermath of the Mumbai carnage.
Six US residents have been among the many 166 folks killed when a 10-member LeT group attacked Mumbai in November 2008.
A spokesperson for the Counter-Terrorism Division (CTD) of Pakistan’s Punjab province mentioned in a press release that Lakhvi was arrested on fees of terrorism financing throughout an intelligence-based operation.
“He’s accused of working a dispensary [and] utilizing funds collected for terrorism financing. He [and] others additionally collected funds from this dispensary and used these funds for additional terrorism financing. He additionally used these funds for private bills,” the spokesman mentioned.
Lakhvi, who can also be a UN-designated terrorist, will face trial in an anti-terrorism court docket in Lahore, the spokesperson mentioned.
Final yr, LeT founder Hafiz Saeed was convicted in 5 separate circumstances of terror financing and given a jail time period starting from 5 years to fifteen-and-half years. These sentences will run concurrently.
Lakhvi’s arrest got here weeks forward of the Monetary Motion Activity Drive’s (FATF) deliberate reassessment of Pakistan’s efforts to counter terror financing. In October final yr, the multilateral watchdog retained Pakistan in its “gray record” for failing to completely ship on an motion plan to combat terror financing, and gave the nation time until February to handle what it mentioned have been “very critical deficiencies”.