26/11: Pakistan to defend ISI chief in US court

Pakistan will contest two US lawsuits that link ISI and its chief to the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Last Updated: Dec 30, 2010, 19:39 PM IST

Islamabad: The Pakistan government on Thursday said it will "strongly contest" the lawsuit filed in a US court against the serving and former heads of the powerful spy agency ISI by relatives of two Jewish victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

"The government of Pakistan has taken a firm decision
to strongly contest the suit filed against the Inter-Services
Intelligence (and) its present and past Directors General,"
Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said.

The government and the Pakistan Embassy in Washington
"shall defend the legal suit on behalf of the ISI and its
Directors General fully and properly," he said in a statement.

Basit noted that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had
categorically stated in the National Assembly or lower house
of parliament that the government does "not believe the ISI,
as an agency of the government of Pakistan, or its present and
former officials could be subjected to civil litigation in the
courts of the US".

Gilani had also made it clear that the government
intends to take "appropriate steps to obtain dismissal of this
action", Basit said.

The court in Brooklyn has summoned current ISI chief
Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha and his predecessor Nadeem Taj and
Lashker-e-Toiba leaders, including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, to
appear before it in connection with the suit filed by
relatives of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, who were
among the 166 people killed during the Mumbai attacks.

PTI