Pakistan on Sunday hit back at the United States State Department for suggesting Islamabad needed to do more to hold Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi accountable, instead asking Washington to “reserve its concern” for the financing and execution of terror activities by India.
The Foreign Office rejoinder on Twitter came in response to a statement issued by the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs after the conviction of Lakhvi, a key leader of the banned LeT, on a charge of terror financing by a Lahore anti-terrorism court.
The statement said although the US was “encouraged” by Lakhvi’s recent conviction, his alleged crimes “go far beyond financing terrorism”.
“Pakistan should further hold him accountable for his involvement in terrorist attacks, including the Mumbai attacks,” the State Department added.
In response, the FO stated that Pakistan was “fully abiding by its own statutes and fulfilment of its international obligations”.
“The investigations, prosecutions and subsequent convictions, through due process, are a reflection of the effectiveness of Pakistan’s legal system which operates independent of any extraneous factors or influences,” it stressed in a tweet.
The FO statement emphasised that the legal process in the ‘Mumbai Case’ remained stalled due to the “reluctance by [the] Indian side to send witnesses for cross-examination by [the] Pakistani court”.
“Pakistan should further hold him accountable for his involvement in terrorist attacks, including the Mumbai attacks,” it added. India had also questioned the timing of the action against Lakhvi and linked it to the upcoming Financial Action Taskforce meet.