ISLAMABAD - A key member of the Pakistan’s judicial commission mandated to cross-examine Indian witnesses in the Mumbai terror attack case Tuesday denied the claims of India media that the commission had cancelled its visit, saying that visit had been rescheduled due to cancellation of the flight.
The commission would now visit India on September 11, the day the next flight to India would be available from Pakistan after September 7.
A mainstream newspaper of India reported on Tuesday that Pakistani judicial commission cancelled its visit to India, citing technical and procedural issues as reason. The commission was to visit India on September 7 to cross-examine four witnesses of the Mumbai terror attacks.
Special Prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry, who is also a member of the eight-member commission, told The Nation that the visit had been rescheduled because of the cancellation of New Delhi-bound flight from Lahore scheduled on September 7. He said that the eight-member panel of Pakistani prosecution and defence lawyers will now visit India on September 11 (Wednesday) to cross-examine the witnesses in the case. Giving the reasons, Chaudhry said that earlier, two flights used to depart from Lahore for New Delhi once in a week and the authorities here in Pakistan had cancelled one flight and now a single flight would be used to depart for India once a week. “This is the reason that the commission had to reschedule its visit till September 11,” he added. He categorically denied that the commission had cancelled its visit on technical reasons.
Earlier, the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had ordered the interior ministry on August 16 to send a judicial commission to India to record and cross-examine the statements of four key witnesses in the Mumbai attacks case. The court had directed the ministry and the director general (DG) of its National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) to make necessary arrangements to dispatch the commission to India.
Indian authorities in a letter written to Pakistan’s interior minister through diplomatic channels had given approval of the commission’s visit to India and to cross-examine the witnesses.
The commission would record and cross-examine the statements of RV Sawant Waghule, the investigator who recorded the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, chief investigation officer Ramesh Mahale and two doctors Ganesh Dhunraj and Chintaman Mohite. Both doctors had carried out the post mortem of the terrorists killed during the attack.