A Pakistani court has adjourned for nearly four months the hearing of a petition filed by Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed seeking legal aid from the government to defend himself in a US lawsuit over the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
A Deputy Attorney General told Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial yesterday that the US State and Justice Departments had challenged the American court’s jurisdiction for issuing summons to former Inter-Services Intelligence chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha and other Pakistani officials over the Mumbai attacks.
The Lahore High Court should wait till the challenge to the US court’s jurisdiction is decided before moving on Saeed’s petition,the Deputy Attorney General said.
The Chief Justice then adjourned the matter till September 24. The US lawsuit was filed by relatives of two Jewish victims of the Mumbai attacks,which were carried out by members of the Pakistan-based LeT.A total of 166 people were killed in the attacks in India’s financial hub in November 2008. US nationals Rabbi Gabriel Noah Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were killed in the attacks. Their relatives filed nine claims against LeT members and several ISI officials. They were accused of providing material support to the attackers.
The US court issued summons to Hafiz Saeed,former ISI chiefs Ahmad Shuja Pasha and Nadeem Taj and other Pakistani. The Pakistan government had earlier informed the Lahore High Court that it will only provide legal aid to serving and former government officials and not to private individuals like Saeed.