| GEO Pakistan|
US court summons ISI, LeT chiefs
| Updated at: 0914 PST, Thursday, November 25, 2010|
NEW YORK: A US court in Brooklyn has issued summons to senior Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence officials, including its chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, as well as leaders of banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba 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, said US media reports here on Wednesday.
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.
A US official, however, said on condition of anonymity that it was a private complaint and does not have official baking of the US government. “It’s a free country, and every one has a right to go to the courts, but I don’t think the US government will put its weight behind this private complaint,” the official added.
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.
Pasha, who has been director general of the ISI since September 2008, has been summoned, so is Nadeem Taj, the director general of ISI from September 2007 to September 2008.
Major Iqbal and Major Samir Ali are other ISI officers who have been issued summons. 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, Manshera 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 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.
Prior to and following each trip to Mumbai, Headley reported to and received further instructions from both the LeT, including defendants Majid and Maj Iqbal and the ISI, it alleges. The lawsuit alleges that during the Mumbai attacks defendant Majid, along with other LeT men operated from a mission control room in Karachi, passing instructions and encouragement to the attackers via telephone.
“By reason of the foregoing, LeT, Saeed, Lakhvi, Cheema and Majid are each liable to each plaintiff, individually and as the personal representative and/or surviving family member of their decedents, for compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 such amount to be determined by a jury,” the lawsuit said.