ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has handed over six dossiers to India on its own investigations into the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai.
It has also asked sought the custody of the lone surviving gunman of the attacks so that it can complete its own trial of seven suspects linked to the assault.
“We have sought India’s help that he (Pakistani national Mohammed Ajmal Kasab) should be handed over to us so that the trial here can go forward,”Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit told AFP.
Basit said that Pakistan on Sunday handed over to India six dossiers on its own investigation into the Mumbai attacks, with a request that India in turn hand over Kasab and an Indian national, Fahim Ansari, who allegedly helped the attackers. Pakistan is holding seven suspects linked to the November 26-29 attack on India’s financial capital, including alleged mastermind of the operation, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Zarar Shah.
India and Washington have both blamed the Mumbai attack on the LeT. Another official said Pakistan hoped to get information from Kasab and Ansari which could be used for the trial of the seven LeT members.
“We believe their statements, especially Kasab’s, would be helpful,” said the official, who declined to be identified. An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi indicted the seven men on the eve of the first anniversary of the attack, in which at least 166 people were killed and which ended a fragile peace process with Pakistan.
Since the indictment, Pakistani officials have implied that the seven suspects’ trial cannot proceed unless Kasab, who was convicted in Mumbai last month after a year-long trial, is handed over as a witness. Kasab, one of 10 gunmen who went on the three-day rampage through Mumbai, was convicted on March 31 on charges including murder and waging war on India and faces sentencing on May 3. Prosecutors have asked for death.
The other nine gunmen were killed by Indian forces responding to the attack. They were secretly buried in India in January. When asked how could India extradite Kasab and Ansari to Pakistan, Basit replied: “It is not extradition per se. It is a legal requirement since the court has asked that Kasab be produced before it.”
Pakistan Minister Rehman Malik has said that Kasab is required to appear in Rawalpindi. “Kasab’s statement is of importance in the Mumbai case, which is an important document and our courts need it,”APP quoted him late Saturday. Malik said that India will be requested to send to Rawalpindi the officials who recorded Kasab’s statement for his trial in Mumbai.