26/11: Pak panel may visit India before Feb 10

Pak judicial panel failed to visit India as scheduled to record statements of key officials linked to the investigation of Mumbai attacks.

Updated: Feb 03, 2012, 21:47 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan, whose judicial panel
failed to visit India as scheduled to record statements of key
officials linked to the investigation of the Mumbai attacks,
today indicated that the commission could be sent to the
neighbouring country before February 10.

The commission was to reach India yesterday and its visit
now hinges on a decision by a Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism
court conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged
with involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

"One of the accused`s lawyer has given an observation
(regarding the commission), so that is (coming for the
hearing) on February 4. We hope the decision will be taken on
February 6. If not February 6, it will go on to February 7.

But I hope it will happen," Interior Minister Rehman Malik
said.

India had informed Pakistan that the commission could
visit Mumbai during the first half of February. Malik had
subsequently announced that the panel, which included two
prosecutors, a director from the Federal Investigation Agency
and defence lawyers, would visit India during February
3-6.

"We have told defence lawyers that the court will take
decision, so till that happens get the necessary formalities
about their passports done. Because, if even one defence
lawyer does not go (to India), it might become a disputed
thing. So, I believe it (the issue) will be solved in 2-3
days," Malik said during an interaction with media persons
today.

"Naturally it`s a judicial process here and we need to
follow it," he said.

Malik said he was "grateful" to the Indian authorities as
they "gave us a window time within which we have to go. We`ll
try to send the commission there before February 10."

PTI