The euphoria behind the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav has not died yet, can India hope justice in 2008 Mumbai terror attack? The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the attack has recently been changed again. The changes though Pakistan has termed as routine transfers of the Judge in question but it looks the heat is on for its role. The Mumbai case has now been transferred to the court of Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi, who was the Judge in the case before Akram. Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi – the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind — was granted bail in December 2014. Zaidi was the Judge in the case at that time. There has been no hearing in the Mumbai case in the Pakistani ATC after Islamabad told New Delhi to send its 24 witnesses to record their statements if the case was to be decided soon. India had demanded re-investigation of the 26/11 case and asked that Jammat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, who is currently under house arrest in Lahore under the anti-terrorism law, be put on trial. Pakistan, however, rejected India’s request, saying it was ‘not possible as it (the trial) is in an advanced stage’. India has been urging Pakistan to complete the trial at the earliest. Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are facing charges of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the attack that killed 166 people. While Lakhvi has been living in an undisclosed location after getting bail, the other six suspects are lodged in Adiyala Jail, Rawalpindi. The case has consumed more than 80 closed-door hearings in a Pakistani Anti-Terrorism Court at Adiyala Jail, inviting the impression that they are avoiding real action. The slow pace of prosecution reflects the clout wielded by religious militants in Pakistan – particularly by Lashkar-i-Taiba, a violent group that Pakistan once sponsored as a proxy army against India. Will justice again prevail?
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