26/11 at­tacks case: Pak­istan blames In­dia for slug­gish pace of their trial

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Harinder Baweja

NEW DELHI: Pak­istan has blamed In­dia in writ­ing for the weak pros­e­cu­tion and slow progress in the on­go­ing 2008 Mum­bai at­tacks trial in Is­lam­abad, even sug­gest­ing LeT com­man­der Zak­iur Rehman Lakhvi got bail be­cause New Delhi couldn’t pro­vide in­crim­i­nat­ing ev­i­dence.

In July 2015, for­eign sec­re­taries of In­dia and Pak­istan ex­changed let­ters af­ter a meet­ing be­tween PMs Naren­dra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Rus­sia.

The con­tents of the let­ter from Pak­istani for­eign sec­re­tary Aizaz Ah­mad Chaudhry — a copy of which is with HT — haven’t been pre­vi­ously re­vealed and the tone and sub­stance sug­gests that Is­lam­abadisn’tse­ri­ous­ly­pur­su­ing the trial. Chaudhry’s let­ter dated Septem­ber 8, 2015 ac­cepts that the meet­ing be­tween Modi and Sharif “pro­vided us a di­rec­tion to move for­ward”. It points out that “the gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan has as­signed a ded­i­cated high level team of ex­perts to closely mon­i­tor the de­vel­op­ments in the case.

But the let­ter goes on to add: “So far the pros­e­cu­tion ev­i­dence re­mains weak and in­com­plete due to the fail­ure on the part of the In­dian au­thor­i­ties to pro­vide in­crim­i­nat­ing ev­i­dence that they claimed was in their pos­ses­sion.”

The doc­u­ment puts the re­spon­si­bil­ity of pro­vid­ing ev­i­dence on New Delhi. “It is nei­ther rea­son­able nor ac­cept­able to blame Pak­istan for the slow pace or lack of progress. It was In­dian au­thor­i­ties’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­vide all the ma­te­rial ev­i­dence which has not been done.”

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