US links sovereign immunity for Pasha to Davis case: Report
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 01, 2011, 15:39
Islamabad: The US has linked sovereign immunity for ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha in a lawsuit filed by relatives of victims of the Mumbai attacks in a Brooklyn court to the diplomatic immunity for an American arrested for the Lahore double murder, a media report said here on Tuesday.

The US administration "appears willing to claim sovereign immunity for the ISI chief in this case provided Pakistan also granted diplomatic immunity to Mr (Raymond) Davis, who is a CIA contractor," Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying.

"At one stage, the Americans were going to file papers in the court, stating that the ISI chief enjoyed sovereign immunity but decided not to do so after Mr Davis' arrest," an official source told the newspaper.

The court in Brooklyn has accepted the petition against the ISI chief for the agency's alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks, the report said.

The arrest of another alleged CIA operative in Peshawar for over-staying his visa has further annoyed the Americans, who pointed out that more than 100,000 Pakistanis were living in the US after the expiry of their visas, it said.

"The Americans seem to indicate that they too can start deporting Pakistani citizens," the official source told Dawn.

The Americans seem willing to discuss Islamabad's demand for sharing information on the CIA's activities in Pakistan "provided the Pakistanis also shared relevant information," the source said.

A court in Brooklyn last year summoned ISI chief Lt Gen Pasha and his predecessor Nadeem Taj and Lashker-e-Taiba leaders, including Hafiz Muhammad 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 Pakistan government has said it will protect the interests of all officials named in the lawsuit but skirted the issue of defending private individuals like Saeed.

Davis was arrested in Lahore on January 27 after he shot and killed two armed men who he claimed were trying to rob him.

Pakistani leaders, fearful of a public backlash due to rising anti-American sentiments, have refused to release Davis on grounds of diplomatic immunity and said his case will be settled by the courts.


First Published: Tuesday, March 01, 2011, 15:39

comments powered by Disqus