Pakistan did a U-turn today stating that voice sample of LeT operations commander and Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is not likely to be provided, two days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave a commitment in this regard to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
Prosecution team’s chief Chaudhry Azhar said that four years ago a Rawalpindi court handling the Mumbai terror attack case had dismissed an application for obtaining voice sample of Lakhvi on the ground that no such law exists in the country that allows obtaining of voice sample of an accused.
Azhar said that Pakistan government will not file a fresh petition in the anti-terrorism court requesting for obtaining voice sample of Lakhvi in the 26/11 case. Lakhvi is presently out of bail for lack of evidence.
“The issue of obtaining voice sample of Lakhvi has been over. We had filed an application in the trial court in 2011, seeking voice sample of Lakhvi but the judge (Malik Akram Awan) had dismissed it on the ground that no such law exists that allows obtaining of voice sample of an accused,” Azhar told PTI here.
“The government will not file a fresh petition in the trial court requesting for obtaining voice sample of Lakhvi,” he added.
Modi and Sharif at their meeting in Russian city of Ufa on Friday agreed to discuss ways and means to expedite the Mumbai case trial (in Pakistan), including additional information like providing voice samples.
“Both sides agreed to discuss ways and means to expedite the Mumbai case trial, including additional information like providing voice samples,” a joint statement issued after the talks said.
The declaration by the prosecution’s team apparently showed that Pakistan may not go the ‘extra mile’ in bringing the accused of the Mumbai attack to justice despite Sharif’s commitment to his Indian counterpart in this regard.
“We have told India in writing that there was no law in Pakistan that allows obtaining a voice sample of an accused. Even there is no such law in India and the USA,” Azhar said, adding such a law can be introduced only through the Pakistani parliament.
After initially welcoming the Sharif-Modi meeting, leaders and media in Pakistan criticised the government over the absence of any mention of the vexed Kashmir issue in the joint statement which mentioned terrorism and the need to expedite the Mumbai trial.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has also not shown government’s intention to take this matter to the parliament.
“Pakistan has included the Mumbai issue in the joint statement because we wanted India to provide us ‘solid evidence’ against the accused for their prosecution,” Rashid said, expressing his government’s strong resolve against terrorism.