ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Foreign Office denied reports that the UK and US had asked it to handover Mumbai attacks accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi to India or to them for his ‘independent trial’ to help improve ties between the two countries, Times of India reported.
“No one has asked or sent any formal request to the (Pakistan) government to handover the person (Lakhvi) to India or any other country,” Pakistan’s foreign office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam told TOI on Tuesday.
The report says that the Federal Investigation Agency’s prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar had informed the Islamabad High Court on Monday that two countries, whose citizens were killed in the Mumbai attacks, had asked Pakistan to hand over Lakhvi.
The prosecution chief did not name the countries when he appeared before the High court.
However, some media reports suggested Washington and London had written to Pakistan and sought Lakhvi’s custody.
At the time of the Mumbai attacks, Lakhvi was allegedly the operational head of the banned Laskhar-i-Taiba (LeT) which has been accused by India of carrying out the attacks.
Lakhvi along with Zarar Shah was alleged to be a key planner of the attack that killed 166 people.
Proceedings of the case against him began in 2009 at the ATC in Rawalpindi, and was transferred to the ATC in Islamabad the following year.
In April last year however, proceedings came to a virtual standstill as special judge of the ATC expressed his inability to conduct the trial due to security reasons.
This came following a terrorist attack on the district courts in Islamabad in the month of March.