No Date From Pak On Judicial Commission's Visit
New Delhi, Aug 14: Notwithstanding its commitment, Pakistan has failed to convey to India as to when its judicial commission will visit here for the statement of the magistrate, who had recorded the confession of Ajmal Kasab, to pursue the 26/11 attacks case.
During the Home Secretary-level talks held here in March, India agreed to a Pakistani proposal to host a judicial commission of that country to take statements of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R V Sawant Waghule and Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale, who have recorded the confessional statement of Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of the 26/11 attacks, to pursue the case there. It also wanted to take statement of the doctor who carried out the post mortem of the terrorists killed during the attack.
Islamabad has been maintaining that it is necessary to send the commission to India as part of the judicial process of the case in Pakistan and promised at the Home Secretary-level talks that they would do so by May 15. Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik too, during his meeting with Home Minister P Chidambaram on the sidelines of a SAARC meeting in Thimphu last month, had “affirmed that his ministry was working toward an early visit of a judicial commission from Pakistan to India”.
He had also expressed the hope that the visit would take place at an early date.
However, nothing has been heard from Islamabad so far on the proposed judicial commission's visit to India.
Pakistan's contention is that the charges against the seven LeT operatives, including its ‘operation commander' Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, lodged in a jail there, are based on Kasab's statement in Mumbai and hence the magistrate and the IO's statements are necessary to submit before the anti-terror court there.
Though trial in the Rawalpindi court had resumed, Indian officials are not so optimistic that the guilty will be punished any time soon.
So far, four judges of the court have been changed even since the trial began in early 2009. Shahid Rafique is the fifth judge to hear the case since the proceedings began. A contempt notice was also served by the Rawalpindi court to Interior Minister Rehman Malik for announcing that a judicial commission would visit India, though the court had not yet decided the matter.
However, yesterday, defence lawyers decided not to press the court to act on their application for contempt of court proceedings against Rehman. PTI