Will Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist Ajmal Kasab's hanging have any impact on the visit by the judicial commission from Pakistan to India this month?
Former Home Secretary of India, G K Pillai tells rediff.com that the team that would visit India would go about their job and that the hanging would have no impact on the visit.
They had only sought to question a couple of the witnesses and the magistrate involved in this case and Kasab was never a subject matter of debate, he said.
Officers involved in the investigation say that when the team visits India they would hand over all documents pertaining to Kasab.
In the various dossiers that we have sent to Pakistan, Kasab's statements, interrogation reports and trial copy were part of it and hence they would not seek any further information regarding him, they said.
The hanging was a judicial process and it was not timed with the visit by the Pakistan team. However, it would also send out a clear message to Pakistan that India is serious about the case and more importantly all due diligence under the provisions of the Indian law was taken before the sentence was finally handed out.
The Pakistani judicial commission will cross examine the witnesses before it submits its report.
Officials point out that India has no problems if the commission wants to cross examine the witnesses. If this would help their case and the ends of justice are finally met then India is only willing to cooperate.
Kasab was, however, never on the cards and the commission only wanted to question the officers who were involved in the arrest of the Lashkar terrorist. They would also seek to interrogate the doctors who carried out the examination of Kasab.
An official in the National Investigation Agency said, "We are just offering them what they have to offer us. At no point in time were they willing to allow us to question the likes of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi or Hafiz Saeed -- the real masterminds behind the attack. Hence the question of them questioning Kasab too did not arise. The commission in India would do what we will do in Pakistan. We would be questioning the witnesses and the police officers in Pakistan and they would do the same here."
"In case one of the accused is convicted just before we visit Pakistan, it would not hamper our case and hence there should be no problems for the commission to visit India in the event of this hanging."
Officials also point out that Pakistan cannot raise any objection to the hanging and also the timing.
"From day one despite repeated requests they refused to acknowledge him. Even when Kasab had sought their support they rejected it. We have followed the proper course of law and Pakistan cannot question us on this since we have tried and executed him as per our laws, as it was an offence committed on Indian soil."