Days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh linked Pakistani action against the perpetrators of 26/11 to his meeting Nawaz Sharif, India has proposed that a judicial commission from the neighbouring country could visit Mumbai and cross-examine witnesses of the terror strike in the week beginning September 23.
The commission is expected to visit India before the proposed meeting between Singh and the Pakistani PM on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York the same week. Singh will be in the US from September 25 to 30. A final decision on the meeting with Sharif is still pending.
Ahead of that, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid will meet counterpart Sartaz Azis in Kyrgyzstan on September 13.
The informal interaction will take place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet.
The judicial commission’s trip has been in limbo for a while. First, Islamabad cancelled the visit scheduled for September 4. It proposed September 11 instead, but New Delhi turned it down, citing Ganesh Chaturthi festivities.
With the new date, India has sought “early confirmation” from Pakistan so that arrangements can be made, sources said.
With elections just around the corner, forward movement in the 26/11 case is a domestic imperative for India for normalizing ties.
Speaking on the proposed meeting with Sharif, Singh had told reporters on his way back from the G20 summit in Russia, “If the terror acts don’t stop, if those who voice terrorist thoughts move about freely, if there is no significant progress in bringing the culprits of the Mumbai massacre to book, I have to factor (those) in before arriving at a final decision.”