Pak commission visit to India off

Pakistan has yet again cancelled a visit by its second judicial commission which is looking at 26/11 citing procedural and technical issues. The commission members had been scheduled to arrive in India on September 7.
However, the government has now been informed that the commission will not be able to travel to India and fresh dates will be proposed by Pakistan.
[News agency PTI, however, reported that the visit was delayed by four days due to the non-availability of flights. “We were supposed to leave on September 7 but the PIA flight on that day has been cancelled. Hence, we would be leaving on September 11,” PTI quoted Riaz Akram Cheema, part of the legal team defending the seven Pakistani suspects, as saying.]
Earlier, India has conveyed its readiness to send the commission to cross-examine prosecution witnesses in connection with the Mumbai attacks and India had agreed to received the panel.
The visit’s cancellation comes at a time when there is a chill in bilateral ties following the killing of five Indian soldiers by Pak Army troops in early August. The cancellation of the judicial commission’s visit is perhaps just another indication of the current sourness in ties.
The stalled peace process which had appeared all set to resume in September remains in cold storage now. for now a question mark hangs even on the proposed meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pak counterpart, Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later in September.
The dates for the judicial commission’s visit had been finalised by the Union home ministry in consultation with the Pak interior ministry. As demanded by Pakistan, India had agreed to allow the commission the right to cross-examine four key witnesses of the 26/11 case to take the case forward in a Rawalpindi court. A written assurance too was given to the Pakistani authorities that the legal panel would be allowed to cross-examine the witnesses when it visited Mumbai. According to Pakistan, the anti-terrorism court hearing the 26/11 trial in that country had refused to accept the findings of the first Pak judicial commission because it did not have the right to cross-examine the witnesses. The MHA then obtained a clearance from the Bombay high court as the magistrate who conducted the trial would have been cross-examined too.
India has been seeking an early conclusion of the trial, which, it feels, is proceeding at a very slow pace in Pakistan. The witnesses were metropolitan magistrate Rama Vijay Sawant Waghule, chief investigating officer Ramesh Mahale and two doctors from the state-run Nair and J.J. Hospitals.
who had conducted autopsies of the nine terrorists.

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