A three-member Indian team on Wednesday left for Pakistan to set terms of reference for the second visit of a Pakistani judicial commission to India in connection with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack probe. The team is led by joint secretary in the ministry of home affairs Dharmendra Sharma.
A judicial commission from Pakistan had visited India in March this year and recorded statements of four witnesses in the 26/11 attack case. But it didn’t cross-examine them as per the prior terms of reference decided by the two countries. When the commission gave its report to the Pakistani special court holding trial of seven accused including Lashkar-e-Taiba operational commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in the 26/11 case, the judge refused to accept it. The court held that it can accept statement of the witnesses only in case of all the accused getting an opportunity to cross-examine them.
During the recent India visit of Pakistani interior minister Abdul Rehman Malik, union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde agreed to send a team in this regard with two conditions that this would be the final visit by the commission and Pakistani law officers must certify its admissibility in courts.
Besides, in reciprocity of the second judicial commission visit, India also wanted to send a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials to Pakistan for reviewing the 26/11 evidence gathered by that country’s investigating agency.
Pakistan also agreed for the NIA team visit.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan High Commission here said in a statement that it received the official request of the Indian team on Tuesday and the formal concurrence for the team's visit from December 19 to 22 was promptly conveyed.