Pakistan says 26/11 trial to begin next week (Lead)

July 12th, 2009 - 1:46 am ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, July 12 (IANS) Declaring Zaki-ur-Rehman to be the mastermind of the 26/11 terror attacks, Pakistan Saturday said its probe into the Mumbai mayhem was ‘almost complete’ and the trial of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and four other accused could begin next week.
“Our investigations into the incident are almost complete,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters here after a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal.

“Five of the nine suspects have been arrested and their trial is going to commence probably next week,” he said.

Malik also rejected India’s allegations of non-seriousness in the probe into the carnage that claimed the lives of more than 170 people, including 26 foreigners and said the delay was not on the part of Pakistan rather it was from the Indian side.

“We were very much serious in the probe and we have successfully completed the investigation against the five accused of the Mumbai terror attacks.”

“India took 90 days to submit its challan while Pakistan has submitted Challan within 70 days,” he said, underlining that Islamabad acted very seriously. “So, Pakistan cannot be accused of delaying the investigations.”

“India has still not provided some significant details regarding Mumbai attacks. India should expedite on the issue because every item of evidence is of vital importance during the trial,” he said.

Providing the details of arrested Mumbai attack accused, Malik said they include Hammad Amin Sadiq, Zaki-ur Rehman, Mazhar Iqbal, Abdul Wajid and Shahid Jamil, the Online news agency reported.

” Zaki-ur Rehman was the mastermind of terrorist attacks and commander of LeT,” he said, adding that Hammad Amin facilitated funds and hideouts for the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks, while Mazhar Iqbal was handler, Abdul Wajid and Shahid Jamil were facilitators.

He said 13 more accused have been declared proclaimed offenders (POs) for their alleged involvement in Mumbai terror attacks.

The proclaimed offenders include Muhammad Amjid Khan, Iftikhar Ali, Shahid Ghafoor, Abdul Rehman, Muhammad Usman, Attiq-ur Rehman, Muhammad Mushtaq, Muhammad Naeem, Abdul Sakoor, Muhammad Sabbir and Shakeel, he said.

The Pakistani minister also compared the 26/11 attacks with the Samjotha express blast. He said those killed in Samjotha express were Pakistanis and investigation into that incident was “as important as 26/11 Mumbai attacks”.

“India did not share any information in Samjhota Express case, despite we need it and consider it very important. India should cooperate with Pakistan in this regard.”

Malik, however, pledged that Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used for any terror activity. He reiterated his resolve that Pakistan would continue to fight against terrorism, stating that “terrorists have no religion or origin”.

He said that further details regarding the investigation would be released when the prime ministers of the two countries would meet soon on the sidelines of NAM summit in Egypt.

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