Lahore: A Pakistani court on Tuesday gave the
Defence Ministry time till May 5 to file a reply to
Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed`s petition asking
the government to defend him in a US lawsuit filed by
relatives of two Jewish victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Deputy Attorney General Nasim Kashmiri told Justice
Umar Ata Bandial of the Lahore High Court that a letter had
been sent to the Defence Ministry regarding Saeed`s petition.
Authorities had also held a telephonic conversation
with the Defence Ministry`s officials regard the submission of
the reply sought by the court, Kashmiri said.
Kashmiri sought more time for submitting the reply as
the Defence Ministry had not responded so far.
Justice Bandial adjourned the hearing of the petition
till May 5 and asked the law officer to ensure that the reply
was submitted at the next hearing.
A US district court in Brooklyn issued summons to
Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, on December 16 last
year in connection with the case related to the Mumbai
On December 31, the Pakistan government announced it
would defend other persons named in the lawsuit, including
Inter-Service Intelligence officials, but did not show any
intention of defending Saeed.
The US court has summoned current ISI chief Lt Gen
Ahmed Shuja Pasha and his predecessor Nadeem Taj and
Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders, including Saeed, to appear before it
in connection with the lawsuit filed by relatives of Rabbi
Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, who were among 166 people
killed during the Mumbai attacks.
The lawsuit alleges that the LeT leaders and ISI
officials had provided material support for the Mumbai
attacks. The relatives of Holtzberg and his wife have made
nine claims and sought damages of USD 75,000 for each claim.
At an earlier hearing in the Lahore High Court, the
Interior Ministry had informed the judge that it had nothing
to do with providing legal assistance to anyone in a lawsuit
Following a request from Saeed`s counsel, the High
Court had sought a reply from the Defence Ministry.
Saeed has contended that he heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah,
a "charitable" organisation, and has no links with the LeT.
He further contended that he is a citizen of Pakistan
and should be defended by the government in the US lawsuit.