LAHORE: A Pakistani court hearing the Mumbai terror attack case has issued a notice to the interior ministry asking it to file a reply about presenting 24 Indian witnesses in the case within a week, an official said on Thursday.
The 2008 Mumbai attack case has entered into the 10th year but none of its suspects in Pakistan have been punished.
A court official says,“The Anti-Terrorism Court Rawalpindi held hearing at Adiala Jail (Rawalpindi) yesterday and issued a notice to the interior ministry asking it to file a reply about presenting Indian witnesses by July 5.”
He said a prosecution official told the court about India’s reluctance to send its nationals to Pakistan. The court adjourned the hearing till July 5.
The weekly hearing in this case rarely takes place since the anti-terrorism court has completed the statement of all (70) prosecution witnesses.
According to the prosecution, case may not further proceed till the Indian government sends its 24 witnesses to Pakistan to record their statements. Pakistan has written to India in this regard.
India replied that Pakistan must first put Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed on trial based on evidence it had provided to it.
A number of Pakistani witnesses both official and private testified and provided evidence against the seven accused but the Pakistani authorities have been insisting on sending Indian witnesses for reaching a verdict in the case.
Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.
Seven LeT suspects – Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum – are facing charges of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the attack since 2009.
Except Lakhvi, the other six are kept in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. Lakhvi has been living at undisclosed location since he got bail in the case in 2015.