ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad has summoned the Additional Director-General (ADG) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Wajid Zia and Zahid Akhter to appear before the court and present evidence in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case.
The ATC is hearing the 26/11 attacks case, which has again come to prominence after recent statements from deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Witness Tajik Sohail Habib recorded his statement during the hearing on Wednesday. Judge Shahrukh Arjamund scheduled the next hearing on May 23.
With regards to the 27 Indian nationals who were to record their statement in the case, the judge asked for a report from the interior and foreign ministries on the status of the nationals. The judge said that the case is in its final stages and it is imperative to know whether the 27 witnesses will be able to have their statements recorded.
The case has been on hold for months due to the failure of the Indian witnesses to appear before the court. Since January 2016, on the request of the prosecution, government functionaries sitting at the helm of affairs were directed to produce the Indian nationals, but no serious response was given by the government.
In November 2017, an ATC issued a non-bailable warrant for witness Nazar Sharif after his continuous failure to appear before the court to record evidence in the Mumbai attacks case.
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua appeared before the ATC of Judge Shahrukh Arjumand in connection with the attacks in India’s financial capital on November 26, 2008 in which at least 166 people were killed by gunmen.
Earlier, the ATC directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to submit a detailed report about summoning 27 Indian witnesses before the court.
On May 12, in a recent interview with an English daily, ousted premier Nawaz said, “Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?”
“We have isolated ourselves. Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan’s narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it,” he added.
His remarks were immediately picked up by Indian media, which termed the former prime minister’s statement as a confession of Pakistan’s role in the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead.