MHA officials leave for Pak to discuss 26/11 panel visit

Senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday left for Pakistan to discuss the terms of reference in connection with the visit of the second Pakistan judicial commission for Mumbai 26/11 probe.

The three-member team, headed by Joint Secretary (internal security) Dharmendra Sharma, will discuss the modalities with their Pakistani counterparts. The panel wants to come to India to cross-examine four key witnesses of the Mumbai terror attack of 2008.

The team will also hold talks with the officials of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency, which is probing the Mumbai attack case. During the four-day visit, the team is likely to take up the guidelines to be followed by the second judicial commission. The officials are also scheduled to meet Pakistan's attorney general to seek an assurance that the evidence given to Pakistan's commission will be accepted by the the court in that country, said a senior MHA official.

Pakistan has charged seven men in connection with their probe into the Mumbai attack. However, Pakistan's court has rejected the findings of the first judicial commission that visited India in March.

The decision to send the team was taken during the recent meeting between Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik. The two leaders agreed to finalise the modalities for the visit of Pakistan's judicial commission. The team may take up the issue of letter rogatory sent in 2011, in connection with 26/11 attack.

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