It’s been four years since the 26/11 carnage, but the Pakistani government is yet to even move an application in the Rawalpindi trial court to seek the voice samples of the accused.
This revelation was made by the lawyer of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s top military commander, Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.
“The court has not received an application and I will oppose any such move in the future because there is no court case against Lakhvi in India. Why should India get his voice sample?" Khwaja Haris Ahmad told HT over phone from Islamabad.
For four years now, India has been demanding Lakhvi’s voice sample so the National Investigation Agency (NIA) can corroborate the sample with the voice on the terror tapes.
Lakhvi, who trained Ajmal Kasab and his nine accomplices, was part of the Karachi control room from where the Mumbai attacks were co-ordinated.
But, it is believed, that the tapes are in the custody of the court and it’s permission will be needed for the tapes’ release.
An officer in the NIA said Lakhvi’s voice samples are key to their investigation and are needed also in the case against Abu Jundal — an Indian-born terrorist who was part of the 26/11 control room.
Jundal was the one who had taught hindi to Kasab and his accomplices.
Recently, when Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik was to visit New Delhi, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had expressed hope that he would come with the voice samples.
This revelation from Lakhvi's lawyer confirms the fact that Pakistan has not even begun the process of trying to attain the voice samples of the accused.
Former home minister P Chidambaram too had requested the voice samples on several occasions, including the time he visited Pakistan in 2010 for a meeting with Malik.
Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency, which is leading the prosecution against Lakhvi and five other accused, has been dragging its feet on evidence collection.
Work begins on 2nd Pak panel
Kicking off the process to send a second judicial commission to India in the 26/11 case, Islamabad has proposed wide terms of reference for the panel, including its right to cross-examine key witnesses.
The commission will be set up by a Pakistani court to collect evidence against five accused — mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and four other Lashkar terrorists.
In March, India had provided the panel access to the witnesses on its list: Kasab, the investigating officer and two doctors who conducted the postmortem of the nine terrorists killed during the offensive.
But New Delhi, curiously, had refused to allow them to cross-examine the witnesses despite voices within the government this would weaken the prosecution case.