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
"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
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.