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Pakistan may get to quiz 26/11 witnesses

Source: PTI
December 05, 2010 15:02 IST
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India may allow a Pakistani commission to travel here to interview key witnesses and other officials in connection with the trial of seven Pakistani suspects in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case.

Sources said Pakistan will be informed of India's stand on the issue once the government gets the view of Bombay high court on it, possibly next week.

India, as such, does not have any problem if a commission from Pakistan comes to take statements of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R V Sawant Waghule and Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale, who recorded 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab's statement, and the doctors who carried out the post-mortem of the victims and the terrorists.

But, the sources said, it is mandatory to take the view of the high court as the case related to 26/11 is now pending before it.

"We want the 26/11 case in Pakistan to reach its logical conclusion. We have no issues in allowing them to visit India provided the high court gives its nod," a source said.

Special Judge M L Tahaliyani had convicted lone captured 26/11 terrorist Kasab to death in May, subject to confirmation of the sentence by the High Court.

On the eve of the second anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, India asked Pakistan to punish those responsible.

India said "substantive and verifiable" progress has not been made in the probe into Mumbai attacks case in Pakistan.

Asking Islamabad to fulfil its "obligation and commitment" to bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 carnage, India regretted that no feedback has been received on several issues raised by New Delhi. This included voice samples of Pakistan-based "handlers" of the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and information about seven persons involved in the attacks whose names were given by Home Minister P Chidambaram during his meeting with his Pakistani counterpart in June in Islamabad.

The names of seven "handlers" involved in 26/11 included that of two officers in the Pakistani Army, sources said.

However, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik said last week that the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks has been held up because of New Delhi's delay in granting permission for a commission to visit India to interview key witnesses.

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