Lahore: A Pakistani judicial panel's recent visit to India as part of the probe into the Mumbai attacks will have "zero impact" on the case of seven suspects charged with involvement in the incident, according to the lawyer of an LeT commander accused of masterminding the 2008 strikes.
"We have come back with disappointment. Had we known that the commission's members would not be allowed to cross-examine the four witnesses, we would have refused to go to India," Khwaja Haris Ahmed, the lawyer for Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, said.
"There was no point in carrying out this exercise as it will have zero impact on the case of the seven accused here. Even Pakistani prosecutors were not satisfied with the outcome of the visit. None of us was expecting that it would be a futile exercise," he claimed.
The eight-member commission, which travelled to Mumbai last week, recorded the statements of the police officer who led the investigation into the attacks, the magistrate who recorded the confession of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving
attacker, and two doctors who conducted the autopsies of the dead terrorists and victims.
The Pakistani commission returned from India last evening.
Indian officials, who did not want to be named, expressed surprise at the remarks made by members of the commission about being barred from cross-examining the Indian officials in Mumbai.
"Under the agreement for the commission's visit, it was made very clear beforehand that the panel would not be allowed to do any cross-examination," one official said.
Similarly, the Indian officials said that the Pakistani side had been told well in advance that no access would be granted to Kasab.