MHA awaits formal communication from Pak on sending Commission

India is yet to receive a formal communication from Pakistan on the proposed visit of a commission to interview the magistrate who recorded 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab`s statement and the investigating officer in the case.

Updated: Oct 21, 2010, 22:45 PM IST

New Delhi: India is yet to receive a formal
communication from Pakistan on the proposed visit of a
commission to interview the magistrate who recorded 26/11
convict Ajmal Kasab`s statement and the investigating officer
in the case.

The Home Ministry, a government official said, will
respond to the Pakistani proposal after consulting legal
experts, but, as such, it has no problem with anyone coming
from that country if it facilitates conviction of the Mumbai
attack accused.

"We are awaiting a formal communication from Pakistan. We
want to know who will be coming and with what authority," the
official said.

As media reports suggested that two Pakistani lawyers who
are defending the seven arrested accused have refused to come
to India citing security concerns, officials here said such
developments would further delay the ongoing judicial process
in Pakistan.

The issue of the Commission figured in the two telephonic
conversations Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik had with
Home Minister P Chidambaram earlier.

Malik, who spoke to Chidambaram last month and early this
month, is understood to have said that a Pakistani court has
desired that, subject to the consent of Indian authorities,
the commission may visit India to record the testimony of the
magistrate who recorded the confessional statement of Kasab
and the investigating officer in the Mumbai attack case.

India, however, may seek clarification from Pakistan
on what exactly the Commission would want to do if it is
allowed access to Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R V
Sawant Waghule as also Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale.

The Pakistani Interior Minister recently had said that
the trial of Lashkar-e-Toiba`s Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six
other suspects in Mumbai attacks case in a Pakistani court was
"stuck" over the issue of Indian witnesses testifying via
video-conferencing as this was not allowed under Pakistani
laws.

The commission from Pakistani reportedly also intends
to study the post-mortem reports of victims of the terrorist
attacks.

-PTI