India asks Pakistan to expedite trial in 26/11 attacks

India asks Pakistan to expedite trial in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case

The Ministry of External Affairs also asked Pakistan to abide by its commitment to not allow territories under its control for terrorism against India

In a statement, the MEA said a note verbale reiterating India's call for an expeditious trial in the Mumbai terror attack case. Credit: AFP File Photo

(This story contains pictures and information about a traumatic incident in Indian history. Reader discretion is advised.)

India on Friday conveyed to Pakistan its “deep anguish” over lack of sincerity on the part of the government of the neighbouring country to bring to justice the masterminds of the November 26, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.

A senior diplomat of the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), where officials handed over to him a Note Verbale, asking the government of the neighbouring country once again to expedite the trial of the masterminds of the 26/11 terror attacks. New Delhi also asked the Government of Pakistan to abide by its commitment of not allowing use of territories under its control for terrorism against India.

“It is a matter of deep anguish that even after 13 years of this heinous terror attack, the families of 166 victims from 15 countries across the globe still await closure, with (the Government of) Pakistan showing little sincerity in bringing the perpetrators to justice,” New Delhi conveyed to Islamabad.

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India also called upon Pakistan to give up its “double standards” and to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of the horrific attack to justice. “This is not just a matter of Pakistan’s accountability to the families of the innocent victims who fell to terrorists, but also an international obligation.”

“The 26/11 terrorist attack was planned, executed and launched from Pakistani territory. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan had gone on record and admitted that the terrorists were sent from Pakistan’s soil,” Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the MEA, said.

India’s diplomatic missions in New Delhi organised memorial events on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the 26/11 attacks, remembering the victims of the carnage and reminding the world of the continuing global threat of terrorism.

The 26/11 attacks had been carried out by 10 terrorists, whom the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) had sent from Pakistan to India. They had killed altogether 166 people – citizens of India and 14 other nations – during the carnage, which had continued for three days till nine of the terrorists had been killed in firefight and another – Ajmal Kasab – had been caught alive.

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Kasab had been convicted and sentenced to death by a special court in Mumbai. After the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court of India had upheld the death sentence awarded to him, he had been executed on November 21, 2012.

Though pressure from New Delhi had forced Islamabad to launch a probe and put the 26/11 mastermind and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, his aide Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and a few others behind bars in Pakistan for allegedly planning, financing and coordinating the attacks in Mumbai, none of them had ever been convicted. Saeed, Lakhvi and others had been released on bail later. Pakistan had claimed that India had not been able to provide enough evidence to convict them.

Saeed and Lakhvi are at present in jails, not for coordinating the 26/11, but in connection with a different case related to financing of terrorism.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar expressed their firm solidarity with the families of the 26/11 victims in separate messages on Friday.

“The Government of India will continue to make every effort to seek justice for the families of the victims and the martyrs,” the MEA spokesperson said.

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