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26/11 case: Pak wants Indian witnesses to record statements

26/11 case: Pak wants Indian witnesses to record statements
Photographers run past burning Taj Mahal Hotel during a gun battle in Mumbai November 29, 2008. Operations by Indian commandos to dislodge Islamist militants at Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel ended on Saturday, Indian television channels quoted officials as saying. The hotel came under heavy gunfire and flames leaped out of the building shortly before the announcement. REUTERS/Arko Datta (INDIA)

Lahore : Pakistan has directed a top official to follow up with India the matter of sending 24 witnesses of the Mumbai attack case to Pakistan to record their statements so that the trial in the case could be completed at the earliest.

“The Foreign Ministry has written to its director general South Asia to take up the matter of sending 24 Indian witnesses to Pakistan for recording of their statements in the trial court in the Mumbai attack case herewith the Indian Government,” Prosecution chief (in Mumbai case) Chaudhry Azhar told PTI.

He said earlier the Foreign Ministry had directly written to the Indian Government about sending the 24 witnesses to Pakistan and now it has asked the DG South Asia to follow-up the matter.

“We have already made it clear that the Mumbai case cannot move forward unless India sends its witnesses here to record their important statements,” he said.

According to the prosecution, all Pakistani witnesses have recorded their statements.

“The ball is in India’s court. If it wants early conclusion of the Mumbai case it will have to send its witnesses here,” Azhar, who is also a special prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency, said.

Recently the Foreign Office of Pakistan said it had asked India to provide “additional evidence” for the early completion of the Mumbai attack trial.

India has been urging Pakistan to complete the trial at the earliest. It has said that enough evidence has been shared with Pakistan to prosecute the accused.

Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are accused of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attack.

Lakhvi is living at an undisclosed location after he got released from jail on bail a year ago. The other six suspects are in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.