Pakistan to again seek access to 26/11 witnesses


Islamabad : Pakistan has again decided to ask India for access to the witnesses of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack to record their statements. A formal request is going to be filed soon, officials said.

Support TwoCircles

This would be the second time that Pakistan would be making such a request, interior ministry officials told The Express Tribune Friday.

Over four months back, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had requested Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram to permit a special team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to record statements of witnesses, including the magistrate and the investigation officer concerned in Mumbai.

Ten gunmen sneaked into Mumbai from Pakistan Nov 26, 2008 and let loose a reign of terror that killed 166 people. Nine of the heavily-armed gunmen were killed by security forces while the tenth, Ajmal Amir Kasab, was arrested. The attack had considerably strained relations between India and Pakistan.

The media report said that FIA has identified 16 Indians to testify about the information provided by Kasab.

A two-member FIA team would proceed for India after getting permission from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and they want to discuss issues pertaining to post-mortem examination reports with police officials concerned.

The FIA has already told Malik that their probe wasn’t making any headway due to India’s unwillingness to permit recording of Indian investigators’ statements.

“During investigations, Kasab told the Indian magistrate that two majors of Pakistan Army were involved in the pre-attack conspiracy,” an official was quoted as saying.

A court in Mumbai last year awarded the death sentence to Kasab, while the trial of seven people accused in Pakistan is being carried out by an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.