Pakistan may not challenge the bail granted to Mumbai attacks mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi again, according to a senior official who cited the government's "own weakness" for the decision despite the deadline for resolving the 26/11 case ending over a month ago.
The Islamabad high court had set a two-month deadline in April for concluding the Mumbai attacks trial while disposing of the government's plea to cancel Lakhvi's bail.
The high court had also declared it would cancel Lakhvi's bail if an anti-terrorism court failed to conclude the trial within two months around mid-June.
However, one-and-a-half months have elapsed since the deadline set by the high court but there still has been no official statement regarding the government's plan to challenge the bail granted to Lakhvi.
"The government is unlikely to re-challenge the bail to Lakhvi. Basically, the High Court had also observed while disposing of the government's plea that if the defence lawyers of Lakhvi were found responsible for delay in the case then the court will cancel his bail but the situation on ground is altogether different," a senior government official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
He said that the delay in the case was on the part of some members of the prosecution team who were being paid by the government handsomely for their appearance for every hearing.
"How can the government re-challenge the bail to Lakhvi after passage of HC's two-month deadline (to conclude the trial) when some of its own prosecutors are responsible for delay in the case," he said.
The government had hired Lahore-based lawyers Misbah-ul- Hassan Qazi and retired Justice Akram Qureshi a few months ago as prosecutors in the Mumbai attack case primarily to "actively" pursue the case.
"But that did not happen. Both Qazi and Qureshi are charging a 'huge amount' for appearance on each hearing besides signing a basic contract (of the case) that runs into millions of rupees as fee. More the hearings of the case, the more their charge will be," the official said, ruling out the government's plan to re-challenge the bail to Lakhvi because of "its own weakness".