26/11: Pak commission to visit India next week?

Rehman Malik said that Pakistan was committed to helping India in the 26/11 trial.

Last Updated: Nov 26, 2011, 12:10 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has expressed hope about sending a judicial commission to New Delhi within a week, after completion of official procedure, to expedite the trial of the accused in the 2008 militant attack case in Mumbai.

Malik revealed this to media persons here on Friday.

"I am hopeful that on Monday or Tuesday if we get clearance from the court regarding their names then next week I will send the judicial commission to India.”

“I want to add one thing to it that, I would like to thank Indian authorities, particularly the Interior (Home) Minister of India, Mr Chidambaram, who took personal interest in this and also the Prime Minister of India (Manmohan Singh) because this time when Prime Minister of India met Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousuf Raza Gilani, then this issue was taken up, during which I had also said that our judicial commission should be sent as soon as possible. And after eight to seven days of that meeting, it is there with us now, I am hopeful this case will go on a fast trial," said Malik.

The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan met on the sidelines of the 17th SAARC summit in Maldives on November 10.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani held nearly an hour-long discussion, punctuating a recent thaw between the two.

A judicial commission from Pakistan would be sent to India with the aim of speeding up the trial of those accused in connection with the deadly attacks in Mumbai.

Malik further said that Pakistan was committed to helping India in the trial.

However, he added that enough evidence was not available for the trial of founder of Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.

"In case of Hafiz (Mohammad) Saeed, they gave information not the evidence. And when this incident happened, (Zaki-ur Rehman) Lakhvi was arrested and he is still in jail and he is a very senior member of this organisation (Lashkar-e-Toiba). As per Hafiz Saeed, no evidence was given against him. We arrested him in the beginning, he got relief from the High Court and later from Supreme Court, and we could not keep him in jail. He had delivered fiery speeches and three FIRs (first information report) were registered in Faisalabad, which was later quashed by the court. Even today he is under observation and if he speaks anti-government or about promoting militancy then I promise that we will again register a case against him," added Malik.

An Indian court had found 20 of guilty of conspiracy in the Mumbai attack case, including LeT founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and LeT commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.

Malik urged India to share credible evidence against Saeed.

He also appreciated the renewed ties between the two countries and added cultural ties and people to people contact should be promoted on an egalitarian basis.

"I raised this issue with Indian Home Minister and also with other leaders, wherever I have met them that give us the evidence (against Saeed). If we can arrest seven people and hold trial for them and can declare 21 as Pos, then why we would not hold one person if we have evidence against him. There is one good thing that has happened that there is no blame game now. Now from blame game, we have moved on to games, sports and political game, which is a good game, and you have seen cricket, hockey, and blind cricket. It is a good thing that we are moving forward culturally and I think this is a good way for both the nations to move forward and for friendship on a basis of equality," asserted Malik.

During his visit to the 17th SAARC summit, Malik had stated that Ajmal Kasab, the main accused in the Mumbai attack case, should be executed.

Many foreigners and some of India`s wealthy business elite, as well as train commuters, were killed by 10 Pakistani gunmen in a three-day rampage through some of Mumbai`s best-known landmarks, including two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre.

ANI