New Delhi: India on Wednesday said it was seriously disappointed at a declaration by the United States that Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and its former chiefs "enjoy immunity" in a case related to the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
"We have noted that the U.S. Department of State has taken the position in a U.S. court that the Pakistani ISI be accorded immunity from the civil suit on the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 26, 2008," a spokesperson for the Indian foreign office said.
"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," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official said.
"Our position has been made known to the United States consistently," he added.
"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. The leadership of the U.S. 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 U.S. authorities in this case is a cause of serious disappointment," the official said.
The Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks, known in India as 26/11, had left 166 people dead and over 300 wounded when 10 Pakistan-based terrorists, possibly with help from state elements, launched a daring siege on India's financial capital targeting high profile locations.
The lone surviving terrorist of the attack, Ajmal Amir Kasab was hanged last month after a long-drawn judicial process, and based on his statements and that of other plotters Indian authorities have said they have reason to believe that the attackers were aided by Pakistani state elements.