No Pak judicial panel to be allowed unless NIA team visits Pak

No Pak judicial panel to be allowed unless NIA team visits Pak

India is unlikely to permit a Pakistani judicial commission to visit here again to cross examine the Mumbai terror attack witnesses unless an NIA team is allowed to go to that country first and determines the necessity of such an exercise.

India wants to send a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to Pakistan to examine the material evidence collected against arrested 26/11 terror attack prime accused including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six others against whom the trial is
going on in a court in Rawalipindi.

New Delhi also wants to understand why the Pakistani court was not ready to acknowledge the international convention of accepting a bilateral treaty between two sovereign nations, Home Ministry officials said.

The eight-member Pakistani judicial commission had visited India following a bilateral agreement which said the commission would not quiz the magistrate, who had recorded the statement of Kasab, the Investigating Officer of the case and two doctors who conducted the postmortem of slain terrorists.

However, after the Pakistani court dealing with the 26/11 case had said that evidence
collected by the commission during its first visit to India in March had no "evidential value" to punish those involved in the Mumbai terror attack, Islamabad had asked New Delhi to allow its panel to visit Mumbai again.

The Pakistani judicial commission, which had included prosecutors and defence lawyers, visited Mumbai in March.

"Unless the NIA team is allowed to visit Pakistan and understand the necessity of the second visit of the Pakistani judicial commission to India, it is difficult for us to say anything now," an official said on the possibility of allowing the second visit of the Pakistani judicial commission to India.

When Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had met his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik on the sidelines of the SAARC ministerial meeting in Maldives last month, he conveyed India's desire to send the NIA team to Pakistan.

Shinde had told Malik that the NIA team should be allowed to visit Pakistan to examine the evidence collected by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan and understand the reasons for the inordinate delay in convicting the prime accused.

NIA is also likely to find out from FIA why action could not be taken against LeT founder and terror mastermind Hafiz Sayeed and the problem in handing over the voice samples of those who were involved in planning and executing the worst ever terror attack in India that claimed 166 lives.

New Delhi is hoping of a positive response from Islamabad on the formal communication sent conveying that it wanted to send the NIA team, the officials said.