Sunday, 1 March 2015

'Homeland' comes true! How Pakistan handles top terror suspects

It sounds like a plot line out of Homeland. One of the main suspects alleged to be behind the Mumbai terrorist attacks of 2008 which killed more than 160 people, is said to be living a life of luxury in a Pakistan prison, with internet and mobile phone access, and dozens of visitors popping in and out every day, without anyone bothering to check who they are.

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is being held with six of his comrades at the Adyala Jail in Rawalpindi. After being named by Indian officials, he was arrested at what was said to be a training camp for the militant, some would say terrorist, group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In 2014, after doubts were raised over the Indian evidence, he was released on bail – embarrassingly, barely a day after the worst terrorist outrage in Pakistan’s history when Islamic fanatics murdered 145 people, including 132 children, at a school in Peshawar. The Pakistan military and civilian authorities had responded by calling for a crackdown on ‘all shades of terrorism’.

India protested, while the US and China are also said to have put on pressure, and the Pakistan government detained Lakhvi again under the Maintenance of Public Order law. But if the authorities believe he is a threat, the ‘anything goes’ prison regime seems an odd way of trying to protect Pakistanis.

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