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Pak blames India for 26/11 trial delay

Pakistan on Saturday said that an anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks needs to validate lone surviving attacker Ajmal Kasab’s statement as it forms a key part of the case.

“We made the statement of Ajmal Kasab as the base (of our case) but our courts require validation of his statement and we have written about this to India,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said while interacting with journalists at the headquarters of the Federal Investigation Agency.

Responding to a question regarding Pakistan’s probe into the attacks on India’s financial hub two years ago, Mr. Malik said his Indian counterpart P. Chidambaram had, in a press statement, expressed dissatisfaction at the trial of the accused in Pakistan.

“We have proposed to India that a Pakistani commission can visit New Delhi to validate Ajmal Kasab’s statement, but India has not given any response so far. The delay is on the Indian side,” he contended.

The FIA arrested seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, on charges of facilitating and planning the attacks that killed 166 people.

However, their trial has been marred by controversy and procedural delays and only one out of over 160 witnesses has testified so far.

Pakistan cracked down on the Jamaat-ud-Dawah in the wake of the Mumbai attacks when the U.N. Security Council declared the group a front for the banned LeT.

JuD offices across Pakistan were sealed and several of the group’s leaders, including its chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, were placed under house arrest.

However, the JuD leaders were freed within six months.

Some like Saeed were released when they challenged their detention in court.

The government has also not issued any formal notification to ban the JuD.

As India marked the second anniversary of the attacks on Friday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan was committed to bringing those responsible for the terrorist assault to justice.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 9:39:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Pak-blames-India-for-2611-trial-delay/article15718386.ece

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