ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court Thursday disposed of a petition filed by Federal Investigation Agency seeking cancellation of the post-arrest bail of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks.

The division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petition and disposed of the same directing the trial court to decide the main case at the earliest.

It was December 18, 2014 when an Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad had granted the post-arrest bail to Lakhvi – the operational commander of banned outfit Laskhar-e-Tayyaba (LeT).

In the petition against the ATC judge’s order, the FIA said: “The fact remains that such like cases of defunct terrorist organisations are not so easy to be conducted and especially the prosecution in such cases is the most difficult job in our country for the last many years.”

It continued: “In the present case, the learned trial judge (of ATC) after the terrorist attack in Islamabad courts (of March 2013) refused to visit Adiala Jail for a long time due to security reasons. Even the prosecutors of this case have been receiving threats through cell phones during the proceedings which were duly conveyed to the concerned authorities. The witnesses are also not secured, and reluctant to depose against the accused persons in the given situation.”

The petition mentioned that the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested by Indian authorities after the Mumbai attacks, was still part of the evidence and it was at no stage discarded and that statement clearly established Lakhvi’s link to Mumbai attacks.

The prosecution claimed that it had sufficient evidence against Lakhvi and requested the court to cancel his bail.

On the other hand, the counsel for the accused person contended before the court that the prosecution was not pursuing the case.

He said that some witnesses in the case were Pakistani nationals and some were foreign citizens. The local witnesses are not appearing to testify and the ATC had issued their perpetual warrants for arrest. Counsel for Lakhvi, Raja Rizwan Abbasi Advocate adopted before the court that his client was implicated in this case due to confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab.

Advocate Abbasi had argued that the IHC bench may direct to produce the judgment of Indian court in this case.

FIA in its bail cancellation petition has maintained that the accused Lakhvi is an influential person and if his bail would not be revoked he is likely to influence the trial proceedings of Mumbai attacks case pending before the ATC.

Lakhvi is operational chief of the banned militant outfit LeT and an alleged mastermind of the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai and ATC judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi had granted post arrest bail to Lakhvi against the surety bonds worth of one million rupees.