India has conveyed to Pakistan that it should look for more proof of the 2008 Mumbai attacks in its own land with “99 per cent of the evidence” available there.
New Delhi is also exercised over the reason given for the latest postponement of trial in Pakistan of the seven accused of masterminding the 26/11 attacks. Pakistan had claimed non-receipt of documents from India.
But official sources pointed out that India had submitted all that was asked for by the Pakistan High Commission here on October 15. It also assisted the Pakistani Judicial Commission when it visited Mumbai in September to interact with officials who had handled the aftermath of the attack.
The five documents submitted to the Pakistan High Commission included those relating to articles recovered from the attackers, proceedings of the Judicial Commission before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and a true copy of the Supreme Court judgment delivered in the case.
“The entire planning of the dastardly attack was hatched in Pakistan, the training of the terrorists who launched that attack was undertaken in Pakistan, the financing of the conspiracy was in Pakistan. It therefore follows that 99 per cent of the evidence will be available in Pakistan,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here on Saturday.
A day earlier, his counterpart in Islamabad, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, told journalists that India and Pakistan needed to work with each other rather than against each other, but added that people could not be brought to book without a fair trial and that’s why more evidence was needed. He did not specify the nature of evidence and where India had fallen short in providing proof.
The first Indian reaction came the same day itself. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde expressed the hope that U.S. President Barack Obama’s “tough talking” with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would expedite the trial as well as encourage Islamabad to proceed against Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.
The case against seven Pakistanis is more well known in the security and diplomatic circles here as FIR No 1/2009, Rawalpindi Division. It has languished for a variety of reasons given by Pakistan, including the shifting of several judges, murder of a public prosecutor and not naming his successor for quite some time and a large number of witnesses.