We will defend ISI chief, not Hafiz Saeed: Foreign ministry

Published: May 31, 2011
Hafiz Saeed. PHOTO: FILE

Hafiz Saeed. PHOTO: FILE

Ahmed Shuja Pasha. PHOTO: FILE Hafiz Saeed. PHOTO: FILE

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed the Lahore High Court (LHC) that they will defend Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha in a civil lawsuit filed in a US court. However, they will not defend Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, who has been named as a co-defendant in the suit.

Deputy Attorney-General Naseem Kashmiri submitted the reply before the court. He said that the ISI chief is a part of the state machinery and so the government of Pakistan would provide him legal assistance. Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the LHC directed the counsel for Hafiz Saeed to file his rejoinder to the foreign ministry’s reply by June 30.

The Brooklyn court has issued summons to JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, ISI chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha, and ISI officials Major Iqbal and Major Samir Ali after a lawsuit was filed by relatives of US nationals killed in the Mumbai attacks. Through its lawyers, the government filed a response that the ISI and its officials enjoyed sovereign immunity from prosecution.

The suit was filed in November 2010 by the son of US nationals Rabbi Gabriel Noah Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, who were killed in the Mumbai attacks. Apart from the ISI officials, the suit names the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), widely believed to be responsible for the attacks, as a defendant.

Hafiz Saeed, through his counsel AK Dogar, submitted a petition that he is the head of Jamaatud Dawa, a charitable organisation, and has no links with the LeT. Saeed says that he was released by a full bench of the LHC after the government detained him in 2009, proving that he is not linked to any terrorist organisation.

Saeed says that as a citizen of Pakistan he should enjoy the same rights as any other individual. He asserts that the government should defend him in the same manner as the ISI chief and other officials.

The LeT was designated a foreign terrorist organisation by the US State Department in 2001 and declared an entity associated with al Qaeda by a UN Security Council Resolution in 2008. The same resolution also declared that the Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a front for the LeT.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    May 31, 2011 - 10:34AM

    A good development . Keep it up to demoralize the all non state actors operating in Pakistan especially the religeous one .Recommend

  • abdul sami
    May 31, 2011 - 10:34AM

    This islamic extremist is running around freely in our country,holding funeral prayers for osama bin laden,holding huge public rallies & giving prime time interviews to our news channels.Why is our govt. & media portraying a radical religious extremist as some sort of a hero? We should condemn his hate filled,bigoted ideology ,not give him prime time airtime.

    our establishment & media have got to get their act together & stop supporting islamic fascists.We’ve already seen the terrible consequences of our support for these fanatics,haven’t we learnt anything from the 35000 lives the religious fanatics have taken.Recommend

  • sharay burki
    May 31, 2011 - 10:37AM

    Separate mosque & state.If religion is allowed to further intrude on our laws,our media & society we’ll move more & more towards being a failed state like somalia or yemen.Recommend

  • May 31, 2011 - 3:29PM

    Better hand over Hafeez to India!Recommend

  • Feroz
    May 31, 2011 - 4:13PM

    This news will drive a wedge between LET and ISI as they know full details of each others involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai massacre. Case in NY court is so strong that Hafiz Saeed is likely to be convicted and red corner notice issued. As he is likely to take down many others strategic assets with him by singing, mark my words he will be eliminated. Will the Government defend Major Iqbal and Maj Samir Ali too, are they too not part of the state machinery mentioned above or are they serving in the Indian Army ? Recommend

  • Arshad Jamal Butt
    May 31, 2011 - 4:26PM

    Hafiz Saeed should be handed over to India, but if India tells why they have opened dozens of consulates in Afghanistan and what are their motive in Afghsniatn. Is India issuing Visas to Afghans? Ofcourse not!

    Who will summon NATO forces for killing innocent civilians including kids and women in Afghanistan and innocent civilians are also killed by USA in drone attacks in Pakistan?

    U expect peace after rasicm against Muslims. Find master minds behind terrorists please. They will be “U I I S” which means USA India Israel States. Recommend

    May 31, 2011 - 7:46PM

    @Arshad Jamal Butt:
    Let Hafiz Sayeed remain in Pakistan, because in the near future his chariatable organisation will surely shower his brand of charity to Pakistan itself. Recommend

  • V S S Sarma
    May 31, 2011 - 8:17PM

    Why should Pakistan handover Hafiz Sayed and Dawood Ibrahim to India ? Officials know very well that living in Pakistan is worse than a death in India. Let them rot there. India should refuse to take them back.

    Criminals who escaped from India felt that they were doing a great escape but then India wisely allowed them to escape because Indians knew very well that life in Pakistan for these criminals is the harshest punishment, worse than death.Recommend

  • Thinking
    May 31, 2011 - 11:05PM

    @ V S S – Your comment makes no sense. They have freedom to spew hatred and spread violence in Pakistan. While Pakistan harbors them thinking it’s doing itself a favor by keeping India’s Most Wanted at large, it hurts itself because these people are evil and create terror and violence in Pakistan.

    Also, Pakistan should hang both Saeed and Pasha if they are found guilty and show the world it is serious about combating terrorism.Recommend

  • Umar
    Jun 1, 2011 - 2:17AM

    In principal why even bother responding to such summon. US courts do not have any jurisdiction in Pakistan. I wonder if US will even acknowledge any court summon for any of its CIA or military officials who have staged multiple coups, assignations, war crimes and bombings all over the world. But who am I kidding, if price is right we may even hand over both of them to US.Recommend

  • Arshad Jamal Butt
    Jun 1, 2011 - 9:31AM

    @R S JOHAR:
    U did not reply on Afghanistan consulates of India but just pointed out one side of picture as usual. Recommend

    Jun 1, 2011 - 12:39PM

    @Arshad Jamal Butt:
    Arshad, I restrict my comments to the topic concerned and state facts to the best of my knowledge and thinking and donot claim either to be always right on the same.

    However, I will try to answer the observation made by you. Firstly, its the purogative of Afghanistan govt to allow opening of number of consulates in its country depending upon the purpose and utility. Presently there are only four consulates located in Jalalabad, Kandhar, Herat and Mazer-e-Sharif respectively. The reason is that in these places development work of constructing buildings, roads, schools, hospitals etc is being done by India but Pakistan alleges that India is fomenting trouble from these consulates into Pakistan which is quite strange keeping in view the nature of work and no Indian military presence in Afghanistan.

    Not-withstanding above, if Pkistan still feels that India is carrying out conspiracy it must provide proof to Afghan and US govt to close these consulates.Recommend

  • Bolimaga Bevarsi
    Jun 1, 2011 - 4:41PM

    @R S JOHAR

    Spot on, bro!! but as always, it falls on deaf ears(or in this case blind eyes infront of the monitor)Recommend

  • Arshad Jamal Butt
    Jun 1, 2011 - 4:52PM

    @R S JOHAR:
    My dear who told you that construction work should be looked after by consulates. You should know what is working and purpose of consulates. Thats strangest comment i ever read.Recommend

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