Pakistan gives another 26/11 dossier on eve of Obama visit

Saturday, November 6, 2010

ISLAMABAD - In a move aimed at showing its seriousness about punishing the 26/11 attackers, on the eve of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India Pakistan has handed over to New Delhi another dossier and information on its proposal to send a commission to India to spur the trial in the case.

Rahul Kulshreshth, India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad, was called to the Foreign Office Friday by Director General (South Asia) Afrasiab and handed over ‘Pakistan’s Dossier No.13′ about the Mumbai terror attack, in which at least 166 people were killed.

He was also provided detailed information on Pakistan’s proposal to send a commission to India to record the statements of the magistrate and the chief investigating officer who recorded the statement of Ajmal Kasab, the lone 26/11 gunman caught alive, and also the para-medical staff who performed the post-mortem examinations of the dead Pakistani terroorists.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office requested the Indian government to facilitate the visit of the proposed commission, a press statement said.

Pakistan’s proposal to send a Judicial Commission to India followed India’s refusal to send these officials to Pakistan to depose in the anti-terror court there.

Recently, India sought clarifications about the terms of the commission and a confirmation from Pakistan that the commission would only record the statements of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R.V. Sawant Waghule and Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale and that no cross-examination would take place.

Ten gunmen sneaked into Mumbai from Pakistan on the night of Nov 26, 2008, and let loose a reign of terror. Nine of the heavily-armed gunmen were killed by security forces while the tenth, Ajmal Amir Kasab, was overpowered and caught alive. The terror strike put a tremendous strain on ties between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan handed over the dossier Friday, a day before Obama arrived in India on a four-day trip. Obama, who arrived in Mumbai Saturday, will stay overnight at the Taj, one of the major targets of the Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai carnage.

Obama is expected meet families of the victims and make a defining statement unveiling extensive counter-terror cooperation between India and the US that may include a mention of major terrorist groups operating in the region.

Counter-terror cooperation and issues relating to Pakistan-origin terror will figure in discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Obama Monday.

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