US immunity to ISI in 26/11 disappointing: India

New Delhi-Voicing “serious disappointment” over the US submission that Pakistan’s military spy agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) be given “immunity” in cases related to the 26/11 Mumbai mayhem filed by relatives of victims, India Wednesday underlined that “any state or non-state that sponsors terrorism enjoys immunity”.

India conveyed its concerns with the US State Department after being apprised of the US’ view.

“We have noted that the US Department of State has taken the position in a US court that the Pakistani ISI be accorded immunity from the civil suit on the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 26, 2008,” Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, said when asked to comment on the US’ decision.

“For India, it remains of vital importance that justice is done and that those who organised and perpetrated this horrible crime be brought to justice, irrespective of the jurisdiction under which they may reside or be operating,” he said.

“It cannot be that any organisation, state or non-state, that sponsors terrorism enjoys immunity,” Akbaruddin said.

“Our position has been made known to the United States consistently,” he said.

“India is not a party to the civil suit filed in the Eastern District Court of New York. The details of what was conveyed to the court by a sovereign government are a matter for that government to explain,” he said.

“From our perspective, this decision is a matter of deep and abiding concern,” he said in a sharply-worded statement that made clear New Delhi’s disappointment with Washington with which it has forged a close strategic partnership.

“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,” Akbaruddin said.

US authorities have submitted before Eastern District New York court that Pakistan’s ISI and its former chiefs, Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Nadeem Taj, “enjoy immunity” in a case related to the Mumbai mayhem filed by American survivors and relatives of victims of the Mumbai terror carnage.

“In the view of the United States, the ISI is entitled to immunity because it is part of a foreign state within the meaning of the FSIA (Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act),” it submitted.–IANS