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Gilani says Lakhvi, Azhar detained for investigation

world Updated: Dec 10, 2008 16:33 IST
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Top Lashkar-e-Taiba members Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, both linked to the Mumbai attacks, have been detained by Pakistani security agencies and the law will take its own course if they are found involved in acts of terror, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Wednesday.

Gilani said he was yet to receive a report on the case of Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Maulana Masood Azhar, who has been put under house arrest in his Bahawalpur home.

Refusing to comment on the involvement of Lakhvi, Azhar and other Pakistani citizens in terrorist acts, Gilani said once Indian intelligence agencies shared findings of their probe into the Mumbai attacks with Pakistan, the country would conduct its own investigation.

"As far as banned organisations are concerned, investigations against them are underway. Till the findings of the investigation come before us, I will not comment on this matter," Gilani told reporters in his hometown of Multan.

Asked if Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, a LeT communications expert, had been arrested, Gilani said they had been "detained for the purpose of investigation".

"If anyone is found (involved in the Mumbai attacks), the law will take its own course," he said.

Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar had on Tuesday confirmed that Lakhvi and Azhar had been detained. Mukhtar also said Pakistan could consider allowing the joint interrogation of the two men with India.

Pakistan had on Tuesday ruled out handing over any terror suspects to India, with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying that they would be tried under the country's own laws.

Pakistan launched a crackdown on outlawed militant groups, especially the LeT and its front organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawah, on Sunday after it came under growing pressure from the US and India to act against elements linked to the Mumbai terror attacks.

Over 20 members of the LeT and Jamaat have been arrested so far. Jaish founder Masood Azhar has been placed under house arrest in Bahwalpur though Pakistan turned down India's demand to hand him over.

Officials have said the crackdown will continue and more arrests are expected in the coming days.