26/11 probe: Pakistani court dismisses plea on voice samples

26/11 probe: Pakistani court dismisses plea on voice samples

The Islamabad High Court dismissed a petition by the Pakistan government seeking permission to obtain voice samples of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused, an order that could have consequences on the Pathankot air base attack probe too.

The Pakistan government’s prosecutors had filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court seeking permission to obtain voice samples of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who was released on bail in April, and his six other incarcerated accomplices.

The voice samples could have been used to match with the recordings of the phone conversations between the 10 terrorists who  carried out the November 26-28, 2008, terror attacks in Mumbai, and the LeT operatives, who coordinated the strikes from Pakistan.

India’s intelligence agencies had intercepted the conversations and New Delhi had sent the recordings to Islamabad, asking the latter to use it to nail the LeT operatives. The PTI reported from Islamabad that the high court on Monday dismissed the petition.

Officials in New Delhi told Deccan Herald that unless the voice samples are matched with the voices in the phone conversations intercepted by intelligence agencies, it would be difficult to prove that the attack had been coordinated by LeT operatives based in Pakistan.They are also worried over the implication of the high court’s order on the prospects of bringing to justice the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) plotters behind the recent attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot.

Pakistan arrested several JeM men after India provided Islamabad recordings of the intercepts of the purported phone conversations between them and the terrorists who carried out the January 2-5 attack.

Though Pakistan came under “international pressure” after 26/11 attack and seven LeT plotters were arrested in early 2009, the trial before the Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi, however, has been going on at a snail’s pace with repeated adjournments, straining New Delhi’s complex relations with Islamabad. 

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