Islamabad seeks Delhi’s help in Mumbai attacks trial

Islamabad seeks Delhi’s help in Mumbai attacks trial

Islamabad: Islamabad on Saturday urged New Delhi to allow a Pakistani commission to visit India to gather more evidence for the prosecution of seven suspects linked to the 2008 Mumbai atacks.

Interior minister Rehman Malik had proposed sending a judicial commission to India to record witnesses statements, as the trial of seven suspects continues in Pakistan.

The suspects include the alleged mastermind of the attack on India’s financial capital, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Zarar Shah.

The sole surviving attacker, Pakistani national Ajmal Kasab, is on death row in India after being sentenced to death by a Mumbai court in May.

“The deputy high commissioner of India in Islamabad, Rahul Kulshreshth, was called to the foreign office," and handed a dossier about the attacks and details of commission’s proposed visit, the foreign ministry said Saturday in a statement.

Delhi and Washington have both blamed the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people, on LeT.

“The government of India was requested to facilitate the visit of the proposed commission," the statement said.

“Further information has been sought from India to facilitate the ongoing Mumbai trial in Pakistan."

An anti-terrorism court in the garrison town of Rawalpindi indicted the seven men on the eve of the first anniversary of the attack, which ended a fragile peace process and strained ties between the nuclear armed neighbours.

But Pakistani officials have since implied that the trials cannot proceed Kasab is handed over as a witness.

However, New Delhi has refused to give the court access to Kasab and Indian national Fahim Ansari, who faced conspiracy charges but was acquitted.

Kasab, one of 10 gunmen who went on the three-day rampage through Mumbai, was convicted on charges including murder and waging war on India.