26/11: India May Allow Pak To Examine Witnesses

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New Delhi: Continuing with its flexible policy on security cooperation with Pakistan, the government will “consider” it if Pakistan makes a request to cross-examine Indian witnesses in the 26/11 terror attacks case.

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court hearing the Mumbai attacks case asked the Federal Investigation Agency on Wednesday to produce all the 24 witnesses connected with the attack.

The court in Islamabad is holding the trial of the seven accused, including Mumbai attack mastermind and LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. On Wednesday, it also wanted the boats used by the attackers to be produced in court.

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“The list of the witnesses to be examined by the Judicial Commission had been agreed upon by the two governments, as were the terms of reference of the Judicial Commission. If and when we receive a formal request from Pakistan conveying details of these 24 witnesses, we will consider it,” Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said.

Officials, however, told The Hindu that India’s willingness to allow cross examination of witnesses by the Pakistani court should not be interpreted as a move to send all of them across to Islamabad for a hearing. There were various other ways to cross-examine witnesses. “Pakistani authorities can try video-conferencing. So there may not be any need for the witnesses to travel to Pakistan,” an official told The Hindu.

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