Mumbai terror attacks trial: India issues visas to Pak judicial panel

ISLAMABAD: India Wednesday issued seven-day visas for the Pakistani judicial commission that will visit the country on September 21 to cross-examine the Mumbai terror attack witnesses and to carry forward the much-delayed trial here.

“We have issued the visas today (Wednesday) and the passports would be handed over today itself,” a diplomatic source was quoted by the PTI here.

The eight-member commission had sought visas for 4-5 days but the Indian High Commission has given them a seven-day visa. The visa has been given for Mumbai, Delhi, Agra and Amritsar.

The commission members would be travelling to India through the Wagah border.

The commission was earlier scheduled to leave for India on September 11 but the visit was postponed due to the 10-day Ganesh festival.

The visit has been delayed thrice this month. While India had given a date for early September, the team could not leave due to cancellation of PIA flight.

The next date fixed was September 7, which was again cancelled due to non-availability of flight.

Finally, a new date was fixed for September 11 but India said due to Ganesh Chaturthi festival, courts will be closed in Mumbai.

The visit to India to cross-examine witnesses is being undertaken to take forward the prosecution of the seven suspects.

The witnesses are the magistrate who recorded lone surviving gunman Ajmal Kasab’s confessional statement, the chief investigating officer and two doctors who conducted the autopsy of the terrorists who carried out the Mumbai attacks in November 2008.

This would be the commission’s second visit to India. A report submitted by the panel after its first visit in March 2012 was rejected by an anti-terrorism court as the commission’s members were not allowed to cross-examine witnesses.