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26/11: ‘India not responding to Pak request to send witnesses’

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: India has not responded to Pakistan’s request and reminders to send the 24 Indian witnesses in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks case to testify in a Pakistani court, the prosecution today told an anti-terrorism court here conducting the trial.

“We are still waiting India’s response on the matter. The Foreign Ministry had written to India several months ago and even sent reminders but the Indian government has not responded to us,” a prosecution official told Islamabad Anti- Terrorism Court hearing the case at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

The official informed the court that Pakistan’s Director General, South Asia, had also taken up the matter with India of sending the 24 Indian witnesses to Pakistan to record their statements so that the trial is completed at the earliest.

The court adjourned the proceedings till November 2.

The official said the case cannot move forward unless India sends the witnesses here to record their statements.

“We are going to send another reminder to India asking it either to send the witnesses or refuse. If India wants early conclusion of the Mumbai case, it will have to send its witnesses here,” he said.

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

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

The mastermind of the Mumbai attacks and Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and 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 attacks.

Lakhvi has been hiding since he secured bail in the case 17 months ago. Other suspects are lodged in the Adiala Jail.

The case has been going on for more than six years.

166 people were killed in the attacks carried out by 10 LeT terrorists. Nine were killed while the lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was captured and later executed.

PTI