26/11 Plotter Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi Living in Luxury Inside Pakistan Jail: Report

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26/11 Plotter Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi Living in Luxury Inside Pakistan Jail: Report

File photo: 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. (Press Trust of India)

Islamabad: 

Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and Lashkar-e-Taiba's operations commander, is living in relative luxury inside the sprawling Adiala jail in Pakistan's Rawalpindi with access to internet, mobile phones and visitors, according to a BBC Urdu report.

Lakhvi, 55, and six others - Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum - have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead.

Despite facing such serious charges, Lakhvi and his co-conspirators have several rooms at their disposal right next to the jailer's office, the report said.

"They have the jailer's permission to have a television, mobile phones and access to internet, as well as dozens of visitors a day," said the report, citing jail officials.

Mr Lakhvi "can receive any number of guests, any time of day or night, seven days a week," a jail official said, according to the report.

No special permission is required, and his visitors are not even required to identify themselves to jail authorities.

"This would be unthinkable anywhere else, but elements in the Pakistani establishment are known to have provided such facilities to certain jailed militant commanders who they believe they may need in future for reasons of national security," the report said.

Lakhvi, believed to be a close relative of Lashkar founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, was arrested in December 2008 and was indicted along with the six others on November 25, 2009 in connection with the 26/11 attack case.

The trial has been underway since 2009. He has been detained at Adiala jail for the last five years.

"Lakhvi's uninterrupted access to guests, mobile phone and the internet has kept him in effective contact with the LeT rank and file," it said.

"On an average, he receives about 100 visitors every day; they are escorted to his private quarters where they can meet him without the watch of jail guards, and can stay for as long as they like," it added, citing a jail official.

On December 18, 2014, an anti-terrorism court granted bail to Lakhvi, who was involved in planning, financing and executing the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.

The Pakistani government, however, detained him the next day under a Maintenance of Public Order or MPO but Judge Qureshi suspended his detention due to "weak legal ground".

Just before he was to be released from Adiala Jail, Lakhvi was arrested on charges of kidnapping an Afghan national.

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