A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Haryana's Panchkula on Friday issued summons to 13 Pakistani witnesses for deposing before it in the 2007 Samjhauta train blast case.
As many as 68 people were charred to death in blasts in two coaches of Samjhauta Express in Panipat on February 18, 2007.
According to an official NIA spokesperson, the Pakistani witnesses are required to attend the trial court in Panchkula from July 4 onwards this year.
Summons to these witnesses will be sent through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs, he said.
THESE PAK NATIONALS ARE BLAST WITNESSES
Sources say these witnesses are the passengers who travelled in the Samjhauta Express in 2007 when the explosion took place. Some of them lost their near and dear ones.
According to the laid-down procedure, the summons will be sent to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, which will hand them over to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.
The trial in this case is in the advanced stage. Court proceedings regarding 249 witnesses have been completed out of a total of 299 witnesses.
A top officer was d as saying, "It's important to bring closure to the process of deposition."
Sources also said video deposition would be considered only if the witnesses failed to appear in person.
Meanwhile, Pakistan had earlier this month summoned India's Deputy High Commissioner to express its concern over the acquittal of right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the Samjhauta train blasts case, in a case of terrorism. In a statement, the Foreign Office said Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh was called in by the Director General (South Asia and SAARC) on Friday "to express concern over the acquittal of Swami Aseemanand in the Ajmer Sharif blast case." "Swami Aseemanand had publicly confessed that he was the 'mastermind' of the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack of February 2007 in Deewana in Panipat", the statement added.