Pak panel's visit to India delayed

A Pakistani judicial commission’s visit to India to cross-examine key witnesses in the Mumbai terror attacks case was on Tuesday delayed by four days due to non-availability of flights.

“We were supposed to leave on September 7 but the PIA flight on that day has been cancelled. Hence, we would be leaving on September 11,” Riaz Akram Cheema, part of the legal team defending the seven Pakistani suspects, said.

The anti-terrorism court in Islamabad hearing the Mumbai attacks case will be informed about the development on Wednesday, he said.

“The window that had been given to us (for the visit) was between September 3 and 18,” Cheema said.

Earlier in the day, the hearing of the Mumbai attacks case was adjourned till Wednesday after the prosecution said the Law Ministry was yet to issue a gazette notification about the judicial commission’s visit to India. Special prosecutor M Azhar Chaudhry informed the judge that the gazette notification will be submitted in court on Wednesday.

Cheema told the court that the panel needs at least four days to cross-examine four witnesses in Mumbai. Judge Atiqur Rehman then adjourned the hearing.

The judge on September 1 directed the prosecution to get a gazette notification issued about the commission’s visit before today’s hearing.

The eight-member judicial commission was scheduled to visit India from September 7 to cross-examine key witnesses in order to take forward the prosecution of seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

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