India summons Pakistan envoy over 26/11 trial delay

A file photo of Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who is among the seven Pakistani accused tried in a Rawalpindi court for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attcaks.   | Photo Credit: Roshan Mughal

India on Friday summoned the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan and lodged a strong protest against the delay in the ongoing 2008 Mumbai terror attacks trial in Pakistan.

The trial of the seven Pakistani accused, going on in a Pakistan anti-terrorism court, was adjourned for the seventh time on Wednesday, leading India to lodge a “strong diplomatic protest” with Islamabad.

“The Pakistani Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi was summoned to the Foreign Office today. Also the Indian Deputy High Commissioner went to the Pakistani Foreign Office and has lodged a similar protest,” official sources told The Hindu.

In the meetings — in New Delhi as well as in Islamabad — Indian officials sought regular briefings on the progress of the trial and the investigation being conducted by Pakistani authorities.

Indian officials also reiterated the “high importance India attaches to bring to justice all those responsible in Pakistan for the Mumbai terrorist attacks”, the sources said.

The last two hearings in the trial could not take place because of the presiding judge being on leave. Earlier, on four occasions, trial could not be held owing to the prosecution lawyers being absent over security reasons.

Last week, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit had played down the purported delay in the trial.

“…Judicial proceedings take time as in any other country…(here) I wouldn’t like to mention the Samjhauta express trials (in India)...these things have their own pace so let’s not draw wrong conclusions…Pakistan is committed to bring to justice those who perpetrated this heinous crime,” Mr. Basit had said.

In June, the trial, which was going on in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi, was transferred to another recently set up ATC in Islamabad.

The seven Pakistani nationals being tried for planning and executing the 26/11 attacks are: Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Anjum.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 8:40:14 AM |

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