A day ahead of a crucial meeting of Indo-Pak foreign ministers where investigations into the Mumbai terror attacks would be the focal point, an anti-terror court has put-off till October 3 the trial of seven suspects, including LeT operations chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi as the judge was on leave.
Judge Baqir Ali Rana of the anti-terrorism court No 2 is conducting the trial of the seven suspects within high-security Adiala Jail in the garrison city of Rawalpindi due to security reasons. No proceedings were held on Saturday as the judge was on leave, officials sources said.
The court authorities set October 3 as the date for next hearing, the sources told PTI.
Significantly, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said recently that the suspects would be formally indicted at Saturday’s hearing.
The decision to put off the trial came as India has demanded speedy investigation of the accused in the Mumbai terror attacks, particularly JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.
The issue is set to dominate the meeting between External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in New York on Sunday on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly. Their meeting would be preceded by talks between the Foreign Secretaries of the two nations in New York on Saturday.
Mr. Krishna has said India was assessing Islamabad’s recent response to its demands related to the Mumbai attacks.
“We are evaluating the various steps that Pakistan seems to have taken with respect to Mumbai attacks,” he said.
The Federal investigation agency, which conducted the probe into Pakistani links to the Mumbai attacks, has already submitted chargesheets against all the accused.
Five LeT operatives — Lakhvi, communications expert Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq and Shahid Jamil Riaz — are being tried by the anti-terrorism court.
They have been accused of providing training, financial support, accommodation, equipment and communications gear to the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai last year.
No details are available of the charges against the two other suspects, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum.