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26/11: Pak judicial panel to visit India on Mar 14

The Indian government had earlier asked Pakistan to send the commission between February 1 and 10.



Islamabad: A Pakistani judicial panel would
visit India on March 14 as part of the probe into the Mumbai
attacks, an anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of LeT`s
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects notified on Tuesday.

Judge Shahid Rafique notified the date for the
commission`s much-delayed visit during proceedings held behind
closed doors at a prison in Rawalpindi this afternoon.

The judge further notified the appointment of Fazal
Majid, a Deputy Director in the Interior Ministry, as the
coordinator for the commission`s visit.

The appointment was made in response to an application
from defence lawyers, sources said.
"The court has notified that the commission will visit
India on March 14 and appointed a coordinator," Khwaja Haris
Ahmed, the counsel for Lakhvi, said.

The commission will travel by air from Lahore to
Delhi before going to Mumbai.

"They (the authorities) want us to complete some
formalities in Delhi," said Ahmed.

Prosecutors could not present the record of the
inquiry by the chief investigation officer in India despite a
direction from the court, sources said.

Chief prosecutor Chaudhry Zulifqar Ali told the judge
that Pakistani authorities had sought the report from their
Indian counterparts but were yet to receive it.

The court subsequently adjourned the case till March 10.

The itinerary and other details for the judicial
commission`s visit would be worked out by the Interior
Ministry, sources said. The commission will include two prosecutors from the
Federal Investigation Agency, five defence lawyers and
officials from the Interior and Foreign Ministries.

The Indian government had earlier asked Pakistan to
send the commission between February 1 and 10.

However, the panel could not go ahead with the visit
due to various reasons, including questions that were raised
about its constitution.

The Pakistani commission is scheduled to interview
the magistrate who recorded the confession of Ajmal Kasab, the
lone surviving attacker, the police officer who led the
investigation in Mumbai and two doctors who conducted the
autopsies of the terrorists and victims.

Lakhvi and six other suspects have been charged with
planning, financing and executing the attacks that killed 166
people in November 2008.

However, their trial has stalled over various
technical issues for the past year.

Pakistani prosecutors have said the commission`s visit to
India is necessary to take forward the trial.

PTI

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