Lashkar-e-Tayiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of seven suspects facing trial in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks, filed an application , on Wednesday, seeking the transfer of his case from Rawalpindi to Lahore due to a purported threat to his life.
Lakhvi's lawyer Khwaja Sultan filed the application in the Lahore High Court that the alleged LeT commander faced a threat to his life as a number of agents of the Indian spy agency Research and Analyses Wing were present in Rawalpindi. The application said the case against Lakhvi should be transferred from an anti-terror court in Rawalpindi to Lahore and that he should be shifted to a jail in this eastern city.
Lakhvi also complained that authorities at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where he is currently being held, were not allowing him to meet his lawyer. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif, who heard the application, issued notices to the federal interior secretary, attorney general and advocate general of Punjab province to respond to Lakhvi's plea at the next hearing, which has been scheduled for January 21. The Chief Justice also issued notice to the superintendent of Adiala Jail and directed him to allow Lakhvi to meet his lawyer.
Lakhvi has been indicted with six others Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum for planning and helping execute the assault on Indias financial hub in November 2008. The trial is being conducted within the Adiala Jail for security reasons. Interior Minister Rehman Malik told Indian diplomats last year that the trial would be conducted in the high-security prison as authorities had received information that the LeT could mount an attack to free Lakhvi and other terrorists being held in Adiala Jail. Observers believe the application by Lakhvi is aimed at delaying his trial, which has entered a crucial phase as the anti-terrorism court is set to record the evidence against him.