LAHORE/ISLAMABAD - A day after the detention orders of the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, were declared void by the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the Punjab Home Department reordered his detention on Saturday.

Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi of IHC on Friday accepted Lakhvi’s appeal filed against his third-time detention orders and ordered his immediate release.

However, before his release could be executed, the Punjab Home Department detained Lakhvi for further one month on Saturday. The Punjab Home Department said it would challenge the verdict of Islamabad High Court in the Supreme Court about the release of Lakhvi. He had been granted bail in both the cases – the 2008 Mumbai attacks case and the six-year-old kidnapping case.

IHC’s decision drew a sharp reaction from New Delhi and the Indian External Affairs Ministry which summoned Pakistan’s high commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, and sought from him an explanation over Lakhvi’s release.

Lakhvi was granted bail by an anti-terrorism court in December last, infuriating New Delhi. He was, however, quickly slapped with a detention order under public order laws. The Islamabad High Court suspended the detention order. On Friday the IHC once again set aside the detention orders, only for a new one to be issued hours later.

“The new order detaining Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi for one month was issued late on Friday,” Lakhvi’s lawyer Rizwan Abbasi told AFP. He claimed the new order was illegal, unconstitutional and contemptuous,” arguing detention orders could not be issued repeatedly. “We will challenge it in the court.”

No Punjab official was immediately able to confirm the issuance of new detention orders. For now, Lakhvi is in jail, but India has reacted angrily to his possible release.

Releasing Lakhvi would violate Pakistan’s professed commitment to combating terrorism, including its recently stated policy of not differentiating amongst terrorists,” India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said, adding his government had conveyed its outrage to Pakistan.

Throughout the three-month back and forth over Lakhvi’s detention, he has never been let out of Adiala prison, Rawalpindi. The Mumbai attacks were blamed on banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Lakhvi and six other suspects have been charged in Pakistan, but their cases have made virtually no progress in more than five years. Delhi accuses Islamabad of prevaricating over the trials while Pakistan has claimed India failed to hand over the crucial evidence.