ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has declined an Indian request to send over an inquiry commission to interrogate the seven Pakistanis arrested here in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks, sources have told DawnNews. “There is no law under which we could allow the Indian investigators to grill the seven accused, who are already in judicial custody,” a senior interior ministry official said.
In the first week of this month, India sent a letter expressing its willingness to allow a commission set up by a Pakistani court to visit India to record witnesses in India.
But in the same letter, New Delhi sought permission from Islamabad to allow an Indian team to visit Pakistan to interrogate the seven accused here.
Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram told journalists on March 2 that “we have sent them a request asking them if they would agree to a team from India to question the people who are suspects”.
According to the sources, the chief of Federal Investigation Agency’s joint investigating team, Wajid Zia, sent a reply to the interior ministry’s National Crisis Management Cell which has forwarded it to the foreign ministry for onward delivery to the Indian authorities.
The letter says that Pakistan’s request for sending a commission to India to interrogate witnesses, including the magistrate who recorded Ajmal Kasab’s statement, is based on sections 503, 505 and 507 of the Criminal Procedure Code, according to the sources.
The letter also says that the seven accused — Hammad Amin Sadiq, Mazhar Iqbal alias Abu Al Qama, Abdul Wajid alias Zarar Shah, Mohammad Younis Anjum, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and their alleged mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi — have already been remanded into judicial custody.
The sources said the letter questioned the legal basis of the Indian request.