Lahore: The Pakistan government on Monday
informed a court that it could not defend Jamaat-ud-Dawah
chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed in a US lawsuit filed by relatives
of two Jewish victims of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Deputy Attorney General Naseem Kashmiri, in a
written reply submitted on behalf of Foreign Ministry to
Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the Lahore High Court, said: "The
government is defending the ISI before the US court being an
institute of the government while the JuD or its chief are not
part of the government."
"Therefore, the government cannot provide legal
assistance to him or his organisation," the reply said.
After examining the government`s response, the judge
asked Saeed`s counsel AK Dogar to present the law under which
the court could direct the government to defend a private
individual in a US court.
Dogar sought time to prepare his arguments and the
court adjourned the matter till June 30.
The lawsuit was filed in a Brooklyn court last year
by relatives of US nationals Rabbi Gabriel Noah Holtzberg and
his wife Rivka, who were among the 166 people killed in the
The US court had issued summons to Saeed, the current
and a former head of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency
and several other persons who were named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit accuses Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz
Saeed, commanders Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Azam Cheema and Sajid
Majid, former ISI chief Nadeem Taj, incumbent head Lt Gen
Ahmed Shuja Pasha and two others of providing material support
for the Mumbai attacks.
For each of nine claims, the plaintiffs have sought
damages of USD 75,000.
Saeed contended that he is the head of the JuD and
had no links with LeT.
He contended that the government should defend him in
the lawsuit in the same manner that it is protecting the ISI
chief and other officials.