(Reuters) – A Pakistani court freed on bail on Friday Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, accused of plotting a 2008 militant assault on India’s financial capital that killed 166 people and seriously strained ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours, his lawyer said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had condemned the prospect of bail for Lakhvi, which comes months after India and Pakistan were engaged in their worst cross-border violence in more than a decade in the disputed Kashmir region.
“Lakhvi has been released and he is out of the jail now,” his lawyer, Malik Nasir Abbas, told Reuters on Friday. “I don’t know where he will go now.”
A security official also confirmed his release.
India’s Ministry for External Affairs said before the release that its concern about Lakhvi had been made clear to Pakistan.
“The fact is that known terrorists not being effectively prosecuted constitutes a real security threat for India and the world,” an Indian ministry spokesman said.
“This also erodes the value of assurances repeatedly conveyed to us with regard to cross-border terrorism.”
India blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the Mumbai attack. Ten gunmen infiltrated the city by boat and spent three days spraying bullets and throwing grenades around city landmarks.
Indian investigators said Lakhvi was the Lashkar-e-Taiba military chief.