Foreign secretary, FO Spokesperson appear before ATC in Mumbai attacks case

Islamabad: Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal on Wednesday appeared before an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) for a hearing of the ongoing case of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Dawn News reported.

Tehmina Janjua told the court that high-level meetings between authorities will be held soon, where developments regarding the Indian witnesses, which are 27 in number are expected to be discussed.

A witness from Thatta, Abdul Samad, also appeared to record his statement today, linking one of the suspects, Shahid Jamil Riaz, to Ali Nawaz Shah village in Thatta.

The ATC also issued non-bailable warrants for a witness Nazr-u-Sharif — who currently resides in the United States — for failing to appear in court.

The court questioned the Federal Investigation Agency for information about two witnesses who have passed away.The hearing of the case was adjourned until December 6.

Last year in January, Islamabad had asked the Indian government to send the 24 witnesses to Pakistan to testify against the seven suspects Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the attacks, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younus Anjum, that are being tried by the ATC in Islamabad. In September last year, India finally agreed to share material evidence regarding the Mumbai attacks.

The case is being tried in the ATC since 2009. Though a prime suspect in the case, the Lahore High Court had released Lakhvi in 2015 after he furnished Rs2 million in surety bonds. The Indian government lodged a strong protest over his release; however, the Pakistani authorities demanded that India provide incriminating evidence against him so he can be held in jail and tried effectively.

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