Pakistan summons Indian witnesses in Mumbai attack to appear before ATC

Published: March 6, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan has asked the Indian government to send all 24 witnesses of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack to Islamabad, to appear before the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in the federal capital.

“The Foreign Office has written to the Indian government asking it to send all 24 witnesses to Pakistan for recording statements in the trial court in the Mumbai attack case,” India’s news wire service, Press Trust of India (PTI), quoted chief prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar as saying on Sunday.

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The prosecution chief said the ATC has already completed recording the statements of all Pakistani witnesses in the case.

“Now the ball is in India’s court. The Indian government should send all Indian witnesses of the Mumbai case to Pakistan to record their statements so that the trial could further move ahead,” Azhar, who is also a special prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), said.

Last month, the ATC had directed the probe body to present all the 24 Indian witnesses in court to record their statements. The court had also ordered to bring back the boats allegedly used by Ajmal Kasab and other militants on the grounds that it is case property and should be duly examined.

Mumbai attack: Court dismisses govt pleas for revival of cases

India had accused the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group for masterminding and executing the coordinated attacks on Mumbai’s landmarks on November 26, 2008 that left 160-plus people dead.

Earlier, law enforcement agencies had detained commander of the proscribed militant group Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi for 30 days under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order by the Punjab government immediately after the ATC granted him bail on December 10, 2014. The detention was subsequently extended twice.

Nearly 4 months after bail: Mumbai attack suspect Lakhvi walks free

However, a Lahore High Court (LHC) bench declared his continued detention under MPO illegal last year and ordered his release, subject to a Rs2 million surety bond. Lakhvi submitted the bond in April, 2015 and was set free from Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

Six other accused are lodged in the Adiala Jail for over six years in connection with planning and executing the Mumbai attack.

This article originally appeared on The Hindu.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • B
    Mar 6, 2016 - 5:30PM

    Why only the 24 witnesses? How about the Taj Hotel itself.Recommend

  • Avtar
    Mar 6, 2016 - 6:19PM

    An unreasonable request! Recommend

  • Defiant
    Mar 6, 2016 - 6:29PM

    India has already gotten rid of the key person in the Mumbai investigation.
    A definite inside job nobody cares to bother about! Recommend

  • Arslan
    Mar 6, 2016 - 8:11PM

    Probably they are being called with a one-way ticket.Recommend

  • Kolsat
    Mar 7, 2016 - 3:04AM

    @Defiant: You can stay defiant as long as you like but the fact is that the 2008 Mumbai attack was originated and planned in PakistanRecommend

  • Hameed
    Mar 7, 2016 - 3:21AM

    More time wasting tactics. It took Pakistan eight years to summon witnesses only because it wants to show that it’s doing something without actually achieving anything.Recommend

  • John B
    Mar 7, 2016 - 3:27AM

    Drone will be the final answer !Recommend

  • Travis
    Mar 7, 2016 - 8:25AM

    So the Pakistani court wants to interview all the witnesses in Pakistan?? You just might as well admit that they are your strategic assets and that you’ve no intention of incarcerating them.Recommend

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