Pak trying to stop US from backing suit against Pasha: Report

Pakistani diplomats are engaged in behind-the-scenes diplomacy in a bid to stop the Obama administration from supporting a lawsuit filed against ISI chief.

Updated: Dec 24, 2010, 19:55 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistani diplomats are engaged
in behind-the-scenes diplomacy in a bid to stop the Obama
administration from supporting a lawsuit filed against ISI
chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha in a US court by relatives of
two Jewish-American victims of the Mumbai terror attacks.

The Pakistani diplomats are busy with efforts to prevent
the US administration from backing the private complaint, `The
News` daily reported, quoting unnamed sources as saying.

"So far, the US administration has not given any
indication that they would support this private lawsuit but
who knows what happens next," an unnamed Pakistani official
was quoted as saying by the daily.

The American court in Brooklyn has summoned ISI chief
Pasha, his predecessor Nadeem Taj and LeT commanders,
including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, to appear before it in
connection with the suit filed by kin of Rabbi Gavriel Noach
Holtzberg and his wife, who were among the 166 people killed
during the 2008 attacks.

No date has been fixed for a hearing or any conference
call between lawyers and the judge, The News reported.

Court sources and Jim Kriendler, the lawyer for the
complainants, said the defendants, including ISI`s current and
former chiefs, had been served notices but the court had not
fixed any date for a hearing so far.

The lawsuit was filed in the last week of November and
the notices were issued at the same time.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday told
Pakistan`s Parliament that the ISI is an "extremely important"
organisation and no force could pressure its chief to appear
before a US court in connection with the lawsuit.

He said the government would make a decision on the issue
after consulting the ISI and other stakeholders.

The News also said that there was a "tense calm" between
Pakistan and US over news reports apparently based on leaks
from the Obama administration.

"We have been taking up this issue with top US
authorities for quite some time that the information which is
being put out against Pakistani security agencies in the form
of leaks could only spoil the situation," the unnamed
Pakistani official said.

"It only increases mistrust in each other. If there are
any concerns or issues, bring them on the table rather than
making it public through newspapers," the official said.

PTI