x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Pakistan investigators to visit India over Mumbai killings prosecution

Pakistan indicted seven alleged perpetrators over the attacks but said that its own commission needed to gather more evidence in India.

ISLAMABAD // Pakistani investigators and lawyers will visit India next month to gather more evidence for the prosecution of seven suspects linked to the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan indicted seven alleged perpetrators over the attacks but said that its own commission needed to gather more evidence in India.

Delhi has called for "decisive" action from Pakistan against the perpetrators of the attacks and accuses its efforts so far of being a "facade," saying it had already handed over enough evidence to convict the accused men.

"If all goes well, the visit will take place between February 4 to February 10," the senior public prosecutor, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, said yesterday.

Both sides, he said, agreed the Pakistani commission could visit India next month to cross-examine witnesses of the attack in which 166 people were killed.

But Mr Ali said there was a "possibility that the visit may be delayed" by the death of the lawyer representing the alleged mastermind, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

The deceased's son, Khwaja Harris Ahmad, has applied to replace his father and the issue would be taken up by the court on Saturday, Mr Ali said.

The commission is made up of two senior prosecutors, a director from the Federal Investigation Agency and five lawyers representing the suspects. "We can proceed to India before February 10 if our authorities address all the legal requirements," Mr Ahmad said.

Pakistan had wanted Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the Mumbai attacks, to testify.

But Mr Ahmad said Kasab, who has appealed against a death sentence in India, was not included on the list of witnesses whom the panel wish to cross examine.

India blamed Pakistani militants in Lashkar-i-Taiba for training, equipping and financing the attack with support from "elements" in the Pakistan military.