Islamabad: Pakistan, whose judicial panel failed to visit India as scheduled to record statements of key officials linked to the investigation of the Mumbai attacks, on Friday indicated that the commission could be sent to the neighbouring country before February 10.
The commission was to reach India on Thursday and its visit now hinges on a decision by a Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
"One of the accused's lawyer has given an observation (regarding the commission), so that is (coming for the hearing) on February 4. We hope the decision will be taken on February 6. If not February 6, it will go on to February 7. But I hope it will happen," Malik said.
India had informed Pakistan that the commission could visit Mumbai during the first half of February. Malik had subsequently announced that the panel, which included two prosecutors, a director from the Federal Investigation Agency and defence lawyers, would visit India during February 3-6.
"We have told defence lawyers that the court will take decision, so till that happens get the necessary formalities about their passports done. Because, if even one defence lawyer does not go (to India), it might become a disputed thing. So, I believe it (the issue) will be solved in 2-3 days," Malik said during an interaction with media persons on Friday.
"Naturally it's a judicial process here and we need to follow it," he said.
Malik said he was "grateful" to the Indian authorities as they "gave us a window time within which we have to go. We'll try to send the commission there before February 10."