In a major breakthrough, India and Pakistan have agreed to give access to each other’s agencies to examine relating to the 26/11 attacks.
The ice was broken between the two neighbours nearly five months after Indian delegation headed by Joint Secretary, Internal Security, Dharmendra Sharma held discussions with officials of Pakistan Interior Ministry in Islamabad. While New Delhi has given a written assurance that the Pakistan judicial commission will be allowed to cross examine the four witnesses, Islamabad has assured access to crucial evidences related to the attacks.
The Union Ministry for Home Affairs has forwarded the Bombay High Court’s order allowing Islamabad to cross examine the witnesses. The order will be submitted to the trial court in Rawalpindi.
The NIA wants to grill Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, a key plotter of the attack, apart from examining the crucial clues collected by federal investigation agency of Pakistan. Lakhvi and six other terrorists were charged with planning and executing the attacks.
However, in July last year the Pakistani court had refused to consider the findings of the first judicial commission report as evidence saying that the panel’s members were not allowed to cross-examine Indian witnesses.
The four witnesses which the Pakistan panel wish to cross-examine includes Metropolitan Magistrate Rama Vijay Sawant-Waghule, who recorded the confessional statement of hanged LeT terrorist Ajmal Kasab, Two doctors who had conducted autopsies of the nine slain terrorists and chief investigating officer Ramesh Mahale.
“So far we have not received any response from Pakistan regarding visit. We will extend all the support as communicated to Pakistan,” sources said.