Mumbai attack case: ATC issues summons to last two Pakistani prosecution witnesses

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Waheed Dogar

ISLAMABAD

Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad has ordered for issuing summons in respect of last two Pakistani prosecution witnesses in Mumbai attack case, besides seeking detailed reply from interior ministry, foreign ministry and FIA authorities in connection with availability of 27 Indian witnesses.

Mumbai attack case came up for hearing before ATC Islamabad led by Judge Shahrukh Arjumand here on Wednesday.

The Mumbai attacks, which took place in 2008, resurfaced in recent headlines, with progress in the trial coming under question, when ousted premier Nawaz Sharif in an interview on Saturday had asked: “Why can’t we complete the trial?

The court resumed its hearing on the case as District Police Officer Dera Ghazi Khan; Sohail Habib Tajik recorded his statement.

The ATC judge remarked that despite repeated directives to the government officials concerned, the court has not been informed about Indian witnesses since January 2016. He ordered the reply to be filed till May 23 about availability of Indian witnesses.

A significant headway has come to open about Mumbai attacks as summons have been issued to Additional Director General (ADG) FIA Wajid Zia and Zahid Akhtar whose statements are still required.

Meanwhile, statements of 85 witnesses from FIA side have been recorded so far.  FIA had filed a list of 150 witnesses out of which 63 witnesses were declared irrelevant and unnecessary.

As many as 8 accused are named in the case. Among them Hammad Amin, Shahid Jamil, Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Wahid, Muhammad Younus, Jamil Ahmad and Suleman Zafar are on judicial remand.  However, the accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is on bail after arrest. He has also filed petition seeking exemption from attendance in the court which has been accepted. The Indian government lodged a strong protest over his release; however, the Pakistani authorities maintained that the accused could not be held in jail and tried as India had provided incriminating evidence against him.

The court has adjourned hearing of the case till May, 23.

While, on the other hand Indian government is using delaying tactics in extending cooperation to Pakistan government in this case.

 

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