LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad on Wednesday directed the ministries of interior and foreign affairs to apprise it of whether the Indian government will send as many as 27 witnesses to Pakistan to testify in the Mumbai attacks case.
The ATC judge summoned the last two Pakistani witnesses – Wajid Zia, who is additional director general of the Federal Investigation Agency, and Zahid Akhtar – to record their statements.
He noted the case has entered the final phase as only two witnesses from Pakistan are to record their depositions.
The judge observed that the court has been awaiting Indian response over whether 27 witnesses from India will testify in the case or not and directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior to inform him in this regard till May 23.
He said so far 85 witnesses presented by FIA have recorded their statements.
A list of 150 witnesses was provided to the court, out of which 63 were stricken off the list for being unnecessary, the judge said.
A total of eight suspects were nominated in the case, including alleged mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younus Anjum.
Lakhvi was granted bail by the Lahore High Court in December 2014, but he was detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO). The court also set aside his detention later, clearing the way for his release.
The ATC had earlier asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to approach India to allow the witnesses in the case to appear before it, but no progress so far has been made in this regard.
It is pertinent to mention here that the case related to the attacks in India’s financial capital on November 26, 2008 in which at least 166 people were killed.—NNI