India said on Thursday it will consider a formal request from Pakistan conveying details of 24 witnesses they want to examine for the Mumbai terror attack.
“We have repeatedly stressed that 99% of the evidence regarding the 26/11 Mumbai attacks lie in Pakistan. A judicial commission from Pakistan visited India in 2012 and 2013 and recorded statements of 4 prosecution witnesses who were also allowed to be cross examined in 2013. “The list of the witnesses to be examined by the commission had been agreed mutually between the two governments as were the terms of reference of the commission,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
“If and when, we receive a formal request from Pakistan conveying details of these 24 witnesses, we will consider it,” Swarop added.
Swaroop’s remarks contradicted Pakistani prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar’s statement that his foreign ministry has written to the Indian government asking it to send all 24 Indian witnesses to Pakistan for recording statements in the trial court in the Mumbai attack case.
Azhar said the Anti-Terrorism Court, Islamabad has already completed recording the statements of all Pakistani witnesses in the case which has been underway in the country for more than six years.
“Now the ball is in India’s court. The Indian government should send all Indian witnesses of the Mumbai case to Pakistan to record their statements so that the trial could further move ahead,” said Azhar, who is also a special prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).