26/11- Will India will push Pak now?

With the trial in the 26/11 case on in full swing at Chicago, United States of America, the big question is whether India can make the push against Pakistan which it has been looking to do for a long time now? Indian authorities who have made it clear that their stand has been vindicated following the confessions of David Headley have maintained that they are examining the trial on a day to day basis and a report in this regard is being prepared.
The National Investigating Agency which has been under immense pressure to file a chargesheet in this case however says that there is no hurry and they would want to prepare a fool proof case. A precedent would be laid while this chargesheet is filed and there shall be absolutely no loop holes what so ever. Earlier, Home Secretary G K Pillai had pointed out that it could be possible that they may join the law suit in the United States of America. However there is no decision on that as yet and Home Minister, P Chidamabaram has stated that there is no decision on this matter as yet. However it seems unlikely that India may join the law suit in the US. On obtaining advise from legal experts on this matter, India has realised that in case they join the law suit in the US, then any decision would be binding on them. Although the Indian law does not have any provision that they should abide by the decision of the US court, they are still aware that any decision would be largely acceptable by the international community. Take for instance, India does lose its case in the US, there is an option to go ahead with our own trial. But the problem is that the international community would largely subscribe to the verdict of the US court and this would create problems when we try and exert pressure on Pakistan. As an official puts it, “more often than not, the world considers the verdict of a US court as the sole and gospel truth.”
While there is no doubt that the NIA would go and interrogate Rana once the trial is over, the other push that India is making is to send a judicial commission to Pakistan. Pakistan was to send a similar commission to India in the middle of May, but there has been no communication from them as yet. Sources say that there is no time frame fixed as yet with regard to the date of the visit of the commission. We would wait for the Rana trial at Chicago to conclude before we send the commission.
The commission which will visit Pakistan has a very crucial role to play. The most important job of the commission would be to verify the voice samples of the various handlers and terrorists involved in the 26/11 attack. We have heard the names of Sajid Mir, Major Iqbal, Samir Ali and the rest. However the verification of the voice samples is extremely crucial to our case, sources also point out. Although unlikely, the Indian judicial commission would look to interrogate some of the prime accused in this case. The chances are bleak since Pakistan will try and avoid any interrogation. In such a scenario, the commission would seek the interrogation and investigation report of these accused which also include, Zaki-ur-Rehma Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed.
The report of the commission would then be shared with the NIA, which in turn would use to file their chargesheet following which the trial will be held.
Meanwhile India continues to keep a close tab on the ongoing trial at Chicago. There has been a bit of bad news with Rana’s attorney suggesting that his client may not take to the box. This would mean that his role in the attack could be known only through cross examination and also the final order of the court. India expected him to speak about the role of the ISI and also had hoped that he would stick to his earlier version where he had said that he was an operative of the ISI and not the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. While this has been a bit of a set back, India is still pinning its hopes on its independent interrogation of Rana. The interrogation would be done only once the trial is completed. Indian agencies say that the forthcoming visit by Hillary Clinton in July. Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs had indicated that apart from the Pakistan problem, the talks in July would focus on the Headley/ Rana case. India will look to make a push for the interrogation and also possible extradition of Rana during the visit by Hillary Clinton, sources in the MEA also pointed out.

Author: Vicky Nanjappa

just a reporter

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