Skip to comments.US immunity to ISI in 26/11 case riles India
Posted on 12/19/2012 5:41:00 PM PST by Jyotishi
New Delhi: India is unhappy with the US' decision to give immunity to Pakistani spy agency, ISI, in a civil case by families of the Americans who were killed in the 26/11 attacks.
In a statement, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) rebuked the US state department, saying, "For India, it remains of vital importance that justice is done and that those who organized and perpetrated this horrible crime be brought to justice, irrespective of the jurisdiction under which they may reside or be operating. It cannot be that any organization, state or non-state, that sponsors terrorism enjoys immunity.
"From our perspective, this decision is a matter of deep and abiding concern. The leadership of the US has publicly stated its commitment to counter terrorism, to dismantle terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and to bring those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks to justice. In this context the decision of the US authorities in this case is a cause of serious disappointment."
The families of the six Americans, many of them Jews, had filed a case in New York which named ISI and its two former DGs Nadeem Taj and Shuja Pasha as defendants in the case. This was a matter of deep disquiet inside Pakistan, even affecting US visits by the two men in question, lest they be arrested. The US decision to avoid granting them immunity thus far was seen as a reflection of Washington's anger with Islamabad's persistent relationship with international terrorism.
Equally, Washington's decision to grant them immunity now is seen as a function of the US' improving ties with Islamabad, which in turn is tied to America needing Pakistan's assistance in the Afghan withdrawal.
The US state department statement said, "In the view of the United States, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is entitled to immunity because it is part of a foreign state within the meaning of the FSIA ( Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act)," Stuart Delery, the principal deputy assistant attorney general told a federal court in New York on December 17. "Furthermore, the department of state has determined that former director generals Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Nadeem Taj are immune because plaintiffs' allegations relate to acts that these defendants allegedly took in their official capacities as directors of an entity that is undeniably a fundamental part of the government of Pakistan," Delery said in his 12-page affidavit.
The case held that Pasha and Taj supported and resourced the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan's lawyers had maintained that the two men enjoyed immunity. "Under the FSIA, the ISI is immune from suit for the simple reason that it is a fundamental part of the Pakistani government."
And such an act committed by an organization that is deemed as a fundamental part of the Pakistani Government should result in the Pakistani state being declared a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Maybe that’s the line of attack that the plaintiffs should take.