India has expressed “strong disappointment” over the submission of the US State Department that Pakistan spy agency ISI and its two former chiefs enjoy immunity from prosecution for the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks.
American family members of the victims of the terror attacks had filed a civil suit naming ISI and its former director general Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Nadeem Taj for being involved in the planning and execution of the terror attacks. The court had also named LeT members Mohammed Hafiz, Zakiur Rahman, Sajid Mir and Azam Cheema.
In a ‘statement of interest’ filed on December 17, the State Department said that “ISI and its former DGs are entitled to immunity as the spy agency is part of a foreign state within the meaning of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act”.
The affidavit, filed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery, said that the foreign sovereign immunity and foreign official immunity were enough to dispose of the case against ISI and its former heads.
It added that US ‘strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and continues to believe that Pakistan must take steps to dismantle LeT and to support India’s efforts to counter this terrorist threat’.
“From our perspective, this decision is a matter of deep and abiding concern,” said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin. He reminded that the US leadership had publicly stated its commitment to counter terrorism, dismantle terror infrastructure in Pakistan and bring those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks to justice.