Children paint portraits of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack martyrs as a tribute outside Taj Hotel in Mumbai, Nov. 25. (Mitesh Bhuvad | PTI)
As India commemorates the 7th anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said that perpetrators of all terror attacks must be brought to justice and underlined that improved ties between India and Pakistan could stem the threat posed by terrorism, writes Yoshita Singh.
“Without prejudicing the law enforcement in individual countries, I want to reaffirm that all perpetrators of terrorist attacks must be brought to justice,” the Secretary General said, replying to a question on the need for Pakistan to do more to check the terror outfits operating from its soil and bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks to justice.
The UN chief underscored that improved relations between India and Pakistan could create a more conducive environment for both countries to stem the threat posed by terrorism.
“I believe that an improved relationship between India and Pakistan could create a more conducive environment for both countries to stem the threat posed by terrorism,” Ban told PTI.
Noting that terrorism has become a “significant threat” to international peace and security, he said the scourge is causing huge losses every day, as evidenced by the recent horrific attacks in places such as Lebanon and Paris.
“Member States must work together towards curbing and eradicating this menace,” he said.
The masterminds of the 26/11 attacks are yet to face justice with the case in a Pakistani court dragging on.
“I understand that releasing Zaki-ur-Rehman was a decision by a court in Pakistan and that India has reported this case to the Security Council’s 1267 Sanctions Committee,” the UN chief said.
55-year-old Lakhvi, the operations chief of the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was arrested in Pakistan in 2009, months after 166 people were killed by 10 gunmen who launched multiple attacks in Mumbai.
A close relative of LeT founder and Jamaat-Ud Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, Lakhvi walked free from a Pakistani jail in April after spending nearly six years in detention, a day after a High Court suspended his detention under a security act.
India strongly objected his release from prison, with India’s Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji writing a letter to the Chair of the UNSC Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee saying it violates the provisions of the committee concerning al-Qaeda and associated individuals and entities.
India also pointed out that as a listed terrorist, Lakhvi can neither receive nor give money since all his assets and financial resources have to be frozen. Any bail money posted for Lakhvi is also a violation of the provisions of the sanctions committee since he is listed terrorist.