ISLAMABAD - The Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad Wednesday issued summons to last two Pakistani witnesses directing them to appear before the court on the next hearing in 2008 Mumbai attacks case.

ATC judge Shahrukh Arjumand also directed ministries of foreign affairs, interior and Federal Investigation Agency to submit a report on availability of Indian witnesses who are 27 in number.

The court observed that despite issuance of repeated court notices to the Indian witnesses, no information was provided to it about their availability since January 2016.

It added that the case had entered into a final stage as only two Pakistani witnesses had left whose statements were to be recorded. The court maintained that it was imperative to know whether the 27 witnesses would be able to have their statements recorded. Therefore, the court directed the ministries to submit a report regarding availability of Indian witnesses till May 23.

The court summoned two Pakistani witnesses, including Additional Director-General (ADG) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Wajid Zia and Zahid Akhter to appear before the court and present evidence on the next hearing.

In total, the court has recorded so far the statements of 85 prosecution witnesses in the case. The primary suspect, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, is on post-arrest bail and did not appear before the court and his exemption from hearing request for one day was accepted by the court.

Last year in January, the court had asked the Indian government to send the 27 witnesses to Pakistan to testify against the seven suspects, including Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the attacks, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younus Anjum who are being tried by the ATC in Islamabad. However, no serious response was given by Indian government till now.

In this matter, operational commander of banned outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed, Younus Anjum, Abdul Wajid and Mazhar Iqbal have been charged with planning and executing the Mumbai attacks in November, 2008 that left 166 people dead. The case has been pending since 2009.

Later, Sufayan Zafar was also arrested for allegedly supplying nearly Rs4 million to the LeT men who carried out the attack. Now Sufyan is also in Adiala Jail along with other accused while Lakhvi the alleged mastermind of the attack is living at an undisclosed location after being released from the jail on bail over a year ago.