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Rehman Malik Calls Chidambaram, Discusses Mumbai Attack Probe

Islamabad, Sep 6: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik today took with Home Minister P Chidambaram the country's proposal to send a commission to India to interview key witnesses in the Mumbai attacks case.  Malik raised
PTI October 06, 2010 21:10 IST
PTI
Islamabad, Sep 6: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik today took with Home Minister P Chidambaram the country's proposal to send a commission to India to interview key witnesses in the Mumbai attacks case. 

Malik raised the issue during a telephonic conversation with Chidambaram in the wake of an anti-terrorism court seeking a clarification from the Pakistan government on whether it has received permission from Indian authorities for the commission to travel to India.   

Chidambaram said he would look into the Pakistani proposal and respond after consulting legal experts, official sources said.   

Malik, who called Chidambaram, said the Pakistani court has desired that, subject to the consent of Indian authorities, the commission may visit to India to record the testimony of the magistrate who recorded the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab and the investigating officer in the Mumbai attacks case.   

The commission also intends to study the post-mortem reports of victims of the terrorist assault, Malik said.  In line with the desire of the court, the Interior Ministry has sent a request through the Foreign Ministry to India regarding the commission's proposed visit, he said.   

The Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects has directed prosecution lawyers to inform it about the Indian government's position on the proposed commission at the next hearing scheduled for October 16.  

Malik and Chidambaram also discussed progress in the trial of the Pakistani suspects.  Malik told his Indian counterpart that Pakistani authorities are examining the last dossier sent by New Delhi on the Mumbai incident and a response will be sent in "due course of time".   

Both ministers expressed satisfaction at the current cooperation between Pakistan and India on issues of mutual concern, the sources said. They reaffirmed their resolve to fight against terrorism and to share information to address the menace.   

Malik congratulated Chidambaram on the holding of the Commonwealth Games in India and wished him good luck for the event.   

He assured Chidambaram that the Pakistan government is committed to help India in safeguarding the security of the Commonwealth Games.  Any real-time intelligence shared will be "taken seriously and acted upon", Malik was quoted as saying by the sources.  

This was the second time Malik and Chidambaram have discussed the Mumbai attacks case during a telephonic conversation since the latter visited Pakistan in June.

Malik recent admitted that the trial of seven Pakistani suspects, including Lashker-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, had stalled and it was imperative for the commission to visit India and record the testimony of key witnesses.   

However, lawyers defending the suspects have refused to be part of the commission. PTI