26/11: Legal jurisdiction for team visiting Pak
New Delhi: The government on Friday dismissed apprehensions that the team going to Pakistan to gather information and evidence for the 26/11 case will have limited
legal jurisdiction and said modalities for the panel will be worked out taking into account existing laws.
Home Minister P Chidambaram said Pakistan has agreed in principle to receive an Indian team to gather information and evidence in that country in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attack case.
"Modalities and procedures would have to be worked out. And when we work out the modalities and procedures, please rest assured that I will be mindful of the legal provisions. Obviously I cannot send a team without being mindful of legal provisions," he told reporters here.
The Home Minister was responding to a question about reports that the operationalisation of such a panel appears unlikely in the near future under the existing provisions of law.
In the just-concluded Home Secretary level talks, Pakistan conveyed its readiness, in principle, based upon the principle of comity and reciprocity, to entertain a Commission from India with respect to Mumbai terror attack probe.
Chidambaram said he hoped that the modalities and procedures would be worked out quickly and the Indian team can travel to Pakistan soon.
Asked whether Pakistan has delivered what it had promised during his visit to Islamabad last June (in providing cooperation to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 attack into justice), Chidambaram said, "I hope that the Indian team can
visit Pakistan and if they are allowed to gather evidence and information and they succeed in gathering evidence and information that is the time I think that the promise would be delivered."
On sharing with Pakistan the progress of the Samjhauta Express blasts investigation, the home minister said India has exchanged with Pakistan information available up to date.
"We have issued a statement. That statement itself says once investigation is completed and the final report is filed in court, that information will be shared with the government of Pakistan," he said.
The blasts took place in two coaches of the Samjhauta Express in the intervening night of February 18 and 19, 2007 near Panipat in Haryana.
Sixty-eight people lost their lives and 43 of them were Pakistani nationals.
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