India summoned a top Pakistani diplomat on Friday, two days after announcing resumption of foreign-secretary-level talks, to voice unhappiness over repeated delays in the trial of seven men accused in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks.
“We asked them to ensure a mechanism whereby Indian diplomats in their country get regular briefings about the Mumbai terror trial and related investigations,” said a foreign ministry official.
The trial, which began in 2012 and is being conducted by an Anti-Terrorism Court, was adjourned for the seventh time on Wednesday, according to the Press Trust of India. India blames the three-day rampage in November 2008 on the outlawed Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The attacks killed 166 people and strained further relations between the neighbors.
“Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner in New Delhi was summoned to the foreign ministry,” said the official, who asked not to be identified. The Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad lodged a similar protest at the Pakistan foreign office, the official also said.
The last hearing in the terror case as well as the one slated for late June could not be held because the judge was on leave, the Press Trust of India reported. Trial proceedings have also been delayed by absence of prosecution lawyers amid security worries. The seven Pakistani suspects have been charged with planning and financing the attacks on India’s financial capital.
The summoning of the Pakistani diplomat came days after the Indian foreign ministry said the foreign secretaries of both foreign secretaries would meet in Islamabad on Aug. 25.
In 2012, India executed the sole surviving gunman, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, one of 10 attackers in the deadliest militant onslaught on Indian soil since the country’s 1947 independence. Kasab, who was 25 at the time of his execution, first pleaded not guilty at his trial but later confessed he was one of the gunmen sent by the LeT.