Pakistan seeks India's cooperation for Mumbai attacks trial
ISLAMABAD, Sept 4, AFP Islamabad on Saturday urged India to help find
a way to progress the trial in Pakistan of seven suspects linked to the
2008 Mumbai attacks, which has strained ties between the nuclear-armed
The suspects include the alleged mastermind of the attack on India's
financial capital, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)
operative Zarar Shah.
Delhi and Washington have both blamed the Mumbai attack on the LeT
faction for the attacks, which left 166 people dead.
The trial has almost stalled as New Delhi has refused to give the
court access to lone surviving attacker Mohammad Ajmal Kasab -- who is
on death row in India -- and Indian national Fahim Ansari, a
conspirator. An anti-terrorism court in the garrison town of Rawalpindi
indicted the seven men on the eve of the first anniversary of the
attack, which ended a fragile peace process with Pakistan.
But Pakistani officials have since implied that the trials cannot
proceed unless Kasab, who was sentenced to death in Mumbai in May, is
handed over as a witness.
Kasab, one of 10 gunmen who went on the three-day rampage through
Mumbai, was convicted on March 31 on charges including murder and waging
war on India.
Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik told reporters after meeting
the Indian high commissioner and speaking to Indian Home Minister P.
Chidambaram on the telephone: "The trial is stuck and actually we do
not want to give an impression to the international community that
perhaps it has been delayed. "We proposed to India while talking to Mr
Chidambaram that how about that we move our case to our trial court and
request them to appoint a commission of relevant officials to record the
statements of the witnesses," he said.
"And this has been happening in the past and so using that facility
we request to the court and if they give permission, will they (India)
be able to accept," Malik said. Chidambaram replied that "they will be
considering it", Malik said.