MHA writes to MEA for NIA team's Pak visit | delhi | Hindustan Times
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MHA writes to MEA for NIA team's Pak visit

The Home Ministry on Wednesday asked the Ministry of External Affairs to convey to Pakistan its desire to send a team of NIA to examine the evidence collected against November 2008 Mumbai terror attack masterminds before it allows the second visit of a Pakistani judicial commission.

delhi Updated: Oct 03, 2012 21:35 IST

The Home Ministry on Wednesday asked the Ministry of External Affairs to convey to Pakistan its desire to send a team of NIA to examine the evidence collected against November 2008 Mumbai terror attack masterminds before it allows the second visit of a Pakistani judicial commission.

In a formal communication, to be sent to Islamabad, the Home Ministry conveyed that it wanted the NIA team to meet the witnesses of the 26/11 case in which LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six others are the prime accused.

The case is being heard by a special court in Rawalpindi's high-security Aila jail.

The issue was first raised by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde when he had met his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik on the sidelines of the SAARC ministerial meeting in the Maldives last week.

Shinde had told Malik that the team of National Investigation Agency should be allowed to visit Pakistan before New Delhi allows the second visit of the that country's judicial commission for cross examination of a magistrate who recorded the statement of terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, investigating officer of the case and two doctors who performed the postmortem of the nine LeT terrorists who were killed by security forces in Mumbai in November, 2008.

"The team will look at the material evidence collected by NIA which is probing the case there," a Home Ministry official said.

Consent for meeting the witnesses of the 26/11 case is also being sought. Home Ministry officials said the Pakistani judicial commission had visited India following a bilateral agreement which said the commission would not quiz the magistrate, who had recorded the statement of Kasab, the IO of the case and the two doctors.

However, after the Pakistani court dealing with the 26/11 case had said that evidence collected by the commission during its first visit to India in March had no "evidential value" to punish those involved in the Mumbai terror attack, Islamabad had asked New Delhi to allow its panel to visit Mumbai again.

The eight-member Pakistani judicial commission, which had included prosecutors and defence lawyers, visited Mumbai in March.

Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court of Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman had said in an order that all the proceedings and the report of the commission that had visited Mumbai in March were "illegal".

The proceedings in the court have delayed for long and the judge has been changed five times.

Pakistan is yet to respond New Delhi's request for voice samples of the masterminds of the 26/11 accused while key accused and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed roams freely there.

Home Ministry officials said the Pakistani judicial commission had visited India following a bilateral agreement which said the commission would not quiz the magistrate, who had recorded the statement of Kasab, the IO of the case and the two doctors.

However, after the Pakistani court dealing with the 26/11 case had said that evidence collected by the commission during its first visit to India in March had no "evidential value" to punish those involved in the Mumbai terror attack, Islamabad had asked New Delhi to allow its panel to visit Mumbai again.

The eight-member Pakistani judicial commission, which had included prosecutors and defence lawyers, visited Mumbai in March.

Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court of Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman had said in an order that all the proceedings and the report of the commission that had visited Mumbai in March were "illegal".

The proceedings in the court have delayed for long and the judge has been changed five times.

Pakistan is yet to respond New Delhi's request for voice samples of the masterminds of the 26/11 accused while key accused and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed roams freely there.