PM Modi takes up Lakhvi issue with China

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed his concerns with the Chinese leadership regarding India’s objections over China blocking its move in the UN for action against Pakistan over release of 26/11 mastermind and LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in violation of a resolution of the world body.

The External Affairs Ministry said India has raised the issue bilaterally with members of the UN Sanctions Committee and in case of China it was taken up at the “highest level”.

Earlier, China had blocked India’s move in the UN for action against Pakistan for the release of 26/11 mastermind Zaki Ur Rehman Lakhvi from prison last month.

After a request from India, the UN Sanctions Committee met in order to seek a clarification from Pakistan on Lakhvi’s release in the 26/11 trial but China blocked the move on grounds that India did not provide sufficient information.

India approached the UN last month against Lakhvi’s release in April from a jail in Rawalpindi. The Islamabad High Court had declared his detention illegal and ordered his release.

Lakhvi, 55, faces trial, along with six others, over the attack in 2008 in Mumbai, in which 166 people were killed. The cases have made virtually no progress in more than five years, paving the way for his release on April 9.

Asoke Mukherjee, who is India’s permanent representative to the UN, wrote to the UN’s Sanctions’ Committee terming Lakhvi’s release a violation of a UN resolution on terrorist organisations and groups, including the al Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), wherever located.

The sanctions committee includes China as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Lakhvi’s release was viewed with concern in US, Russia, France and Germany. Washington has demanded his re-arrest.

Lakhvi, a close relative of LeT founder and Jamaat-Ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted a year later for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

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