Govt will defend ISI in US lawsuit - Pakistan Today

Govt will defend ISI in US lawsuit

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said it would fight a US lawsuit against the ISI as well as its present and past directors general.
“The government of Pakistan has taken a firm decision to strongly contest the suit filed against the ISI, its present and past directors general,” Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said. “The government of Pakistan and its embassy in Washington shall defend the legal suit on behalf of the ISI and its directors general fully and properly.”
A New York court has asked ISI chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, head of the defunct Jamaatud Dawa, to appear next month in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Asked whether New Delhi’s proposal to send a commission to Islamabad to interview the Mumbai suspects was linked to Pakistan’s earlier request to send its commission to India, Basit said, “There is no legal requirement for an Indian commission to be granted access to the terror suspects in this country.”
“Pakistan’s proposal to send a commission to India to interview the lone surviving gunman Ajmal Kasab and officials who probed the attack was a legal requirement to take forward the prosecution of Pakistani suspects,” he said while addressing his weekly press briefing. Basit said, “India should also stop using the Mumbai attacks for propaganda purposes.”
He said the members of the Afghan High Peace Council would visit Pakistan next week for talks with Pakistani leaders on the country’s role in the peace efforts. He did not give specific dates for the visit and also evaded a question asking if the visit was aimed at paving the way for talks with “moderate Taliban”.
“Pakistan’s foreign policy continued to be driven by its national interests and guided by the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter,” he said.
He said, “We have also been able to sustain the momentum in expanding our ties with the United States on the basis of mutual respect, trust and interest.” “We are looking forward to an official visit by our President Asif Ali Zardari to the United States in the first half of next year and President Barack Obama’s visit to Pakistan in the second half of 2011.” Asked about a report published in American newspaper, the New York Times that the US Congress had expressed serous concerns over the disappearance of Baloch nationalists and Taliban militants, Basit said, “You may like to refer this question to the Ministry of Interior.”

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