Mumbai attack case: FO to file report on Indian witnesses

ATC asks for detailed account by November 16

Our Correspondent November 12, 2016
ATC asks for detailed account by November 16. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) has sought a detailed report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Indian witnesses in the Mumbai attack case.

ATC-II judge Sohail Ikram, during a recent hearing of the case, directed the director general of the South Asian desk at the ministry to submit a detailed report about summoning Indian witnesses by November 16.

The orders came in response to court’s pervious directions to summon all 24 Indian witnesses in the Mumbai attack case before the court in Islamabad. The prosecution said that the ATC has already completed recording the statements of all the Pakistani witnesses in the case and were waiting for statements of the Indian witnesses to move further.

At least 166 people were killed when gunmen attacked landmarks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, triggering a three-day fire fight.

Earlier, Pakistan had asked India to allow all the witnesses in the case to appear before the ATC in an effort to conclude the trial. The government had contacted the Indian government, asking it to send witnesses to Pakistan to testify against the seven suspects in the case, including the alleged mastermind, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

Lakhvi and the other suspects, including Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younus Anjum, have been under trial in the ATC since 2009.

The Lahore High Court had granted Lakhvi bail in December 2014. He was subsequently released from Adiala Jail on April 10, 2015 after the court set aside the government’s order to detain him under Maintenance of Public Order rules. The court will take up the case on Wednesday.

Earlier in September, India had written to the Pakistan government, urging to speed up the Mumbai attack trial, which has been pending for almost eight years.

“The trial in the Mumbai terror attack and Pakistan has not moved expeditiously, although it will soon be eight years since that dastardly attack took place. In order to bring the guilty to book, our foreign secretary has recently written to his Pakistani counterart, suggesting ways in which the trial could be expedited through cooperation through the legal channel,” said India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

He was referring to the letter Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar had written to his Pakistani counterpart.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2016.


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