What the refusal of Lakhvi's voice samples mean to NIA
Pakistan's decision not to give voice samples of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is on expected lines. The voice samples of Lakhvi are extremely for the National Investigating Agency which is trying him in connection with the 26/11 attack.
Lakhvi along with Abu Jundal and David Headley are accused in the case which was probed by the NIA. The trial in connection with this case is on at a Delhi court.
The importance of voice samples:
The voice samples of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is probably one of the most crucial forms of evidence. India has the tapes in which Lakhvi is heard speaking to the gunmen who carried out the attack on 26/11. Some of his chilling words from the control room at Karachi were, " take hostage as many as you can. Tell the media this is a trailer and the real movie is about to begin. If they do not listen then kill as many as you can."
There cannot be better evidence that this to suggest that Lakhvi was part and parcel of this major attack. His role in the control room is also confirmed by Abu Jundal who was with Lakhvi that night. Jundal in the run up to the attack had taught Kasab and others on how to speak Hindi.
While India has in dossier after dossier told Pakistan about the transcripts from the control room and also provided them with the recordings, the same has always been denied as fiction. Pakistan has never really acknowledged the fact that Lakhvi was part of the attack, leave alone being in the control room.
India too can push the case only up to this extent since Pakistan demands proof at all times about the voice really being that of Lakhvi's.
It is in this context that the voice samples become extremely important. The samples are needed to verify the voice that was heard from the control room. Moreover only Pakistan can get this done through a legal process as he resides over there.
What can the NIA do now?
An NIA officer informed OneIndia that they will need to proceed with the trial whether or not they get the voice samples. At no point in time did we expect them to give us the samples. They have always made excuses and we cannot trust their judiciary too much when it comes to the all powerful Lakhvi, the officer also added.
Lakhvi's trial in India which would obviously be conducted in-absentia would now proceed whether the voice samples are given or not. There is enough and more confirmation from the likes of David Headley and Abu Jundal about the role played by Lakhvi in the 26/11 attack.
Headley who was in fact questioned by the NIA for nearly 72 hours has said in clear terms that Lakhvi was involved in the attack. This is a confession that has been accepted by the FBI too which had questioned him first. Headley's confession is acceptable in the court and would be sufficient to convict Lakhvi.
While the conviction of Lakhvi would face no major problem in India, the same cannot be said about Pakistan. The trial in Pakistan is moving at a very slow pace and the general perception is that Lakhvi is being targeted unnecessarily by India.
What excuse has Pakistan given?
While many have termed the denying of voice samples as a U-turn by Pakistan, that is not true. Pakistan had never assured of providng India with the voice samples and have always relied on excuses to deny the same.
In fact the prosecution in Pakistan had made a feeble attempt at obtaining the voice samples and have even moved a Rawalpindi court. This application was moved before the court knowing fully well that there is no law in the country which permits obtaining of voice samples.
The Rawalpindi court had expectedly rejected the application for voice samples. Today Pakistan has said that it would not move a fresh application seeking the voice samples. Investigators in India say that where the voice samples are concerned we could treat the matter as closed.