Pakistan dismissed as ridiculous a US court`s decision to surmmon certain officials of Islamabad`s intelligence agency questioning concerning the 2008 attacks in the Indian commercial capital Mumbai.
A US court issued the summons for top officials of the Pakistani spying agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in an apparent investigation regarding the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in response to a case filed by relatives of two American victims. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abdul Basseth dismissed the case as preposterous while stressing that Pakistan is committed to bring perpetrators of Mumbai terror attacks to justice. H added that trial against seven accused in the Mumbai attack is underway in Pakistan.
US court in Brooklyn has issued summons to senior Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence officials, including its chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, as well as leaders of banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, in response to a lawsuit filed by relatives of two American victims accusing them of providing material support for the 26/11 attacks. The 26-page lawsuit was filed before a New York court on November 19 against the ISI and LeT by the relatives of Rabbi Gavriel Noah Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, who were both gunned down by militants at the Chhabad House in Mumbai. Some US officials have opined, on condition of anonymity that it was a private complaint and does not have official backing of the US government. The Pakistan Embassy officials refused to comment on it; however, insiders say that Pak officials were in touch with their US counterparts on this issue. It could not be confirmed whether the Pakistan Embassy received any such summons from any US courts. The relatives of victims have alleged that the Mumbai terrorist attack was planned and carried out by members of defendant, the LeT. Wherein, defendant ISI provided critical planning, material support, control and coordination of the attacks. The current incumbent holding the office of Director General of ISI, Lieutenant General Pasha and his predecessor, Lieutenant General Nadeem Taj along with Majors Iqbal and Samir Ali have been named in the lawsuit and summoned to appear trial. The lawsuit also claims that prior to November 26, 2008, the defendants directed and engaged US-based individuals, including but not limited to David Headley and Tahawwur Rana, for raising funds, building a network of connections, recruiting participants and planning the operation of the Mumbai terror attack. The petitioners have also alleged that the LeT still operates training camps in Pakistan, Kashmir and Afghanistan and openly advocated violence against India, Israel and the United States. It names Muridke, Mansehra and Muzaffarabad as centres of training camps operated by the LeT. It also says that Pakistani American LeT operative David Headley, who has already pleaded guilty (while in US custody) for his role in the plotting of the attack, built a network of connections from Chicago to Pakistan, undertaking these efforts at the direction and with the material support of both LeT and the ISI. The veracity of the said lawsuit needs to be verified but The Daily Mail thinks that there may be likelihood of the relatives of those slain as collateral damage in the US Drone attacks within Pakistan territory may be now prompted to file law suits against the former US President George W. Bush who initially authorized the unlawful and inhuman Drone attacks and the current US President Obama, who has not only accelerated the Drone attacks multifold but is seeking to expand them to include targets in Quetta and other areas in Balochistan, which will definitely result in a very high rate of collateral damage. A very dangerous precedence has been set unwittingly and more summonses may be in the offing against Leon Panetta, the current head of CIA and his predecessor, Michael Hayden, in whose tenure the Drone attacks controlled and executed by the CIA commenced. If David Headley is to be brought into consideration, then the US Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) as well as CIA should be questioned or brought on trial by the survivors of the Mumbai attack. David Coleman Headley was on the payroll of the DEA and his frequent coming and going into Pakistan, India and other parts of the world were definitely in the notice of both DEA as well as CIA; moreover, two of his ex-wives have stated on affidavits that they had informed the intelligence agencies much before 26/11 regarding David Headley’s alleged involvement in the plot. It is inconceivable that with such sensitive prior knowledge, no action was taken. Was it gross neglect or intentional omission? A lawsuit will determine the truth.