Raymond Davis and our national honour

Published: March 17, 2011

The writer is consulting editor, The Friday Times

A few weeks ago, when the Raymond Davis saga had gripped the public imagination, I had humbly suggested, on a TV show, that this issue was not going to be resolved either through street protests, or by invoking the absurd ‘national honour’ discourse. There was only one solution: Recourse to the laws (international and domestic). The ghairat brigade had a field day for at least a month by flogging the useless anti-Americanism horse and short-sighted elected politicians, such as a former foreign minister, also risked their political careers by exposing whom they were actually reporting to.

Other than the usual suspects crying foul over Americans having coerced 18 members of Davis’s victims’ families to accept a blood money settlement, the saga has ended rather swiftly indicating that when Pakistan’s security establishment wants to do something, it achieves the objective rather quickly. The families have accepted a hefty settlement and reportedly relocated. Ironically, the settlement is in accordance with the Pakistani laws imposed by Zia’s political descendents. Luckily, no dangerous precedents were set by the Foreign Office (under pressure), declaring that Raymond Davis did not have diplomatic immunity. This settlement also helped the national punching bag, President Zardari and his tottering government, of appearing as US lackeys by certifying Davis’s immunity. Most importantly, the Punjab government, controlled by the biggest opposition party and the security establishment, have been fully onboard. In short, the quiet behind-the-scenes diplomacy worked out well, saving us from the brink of an unnecessary collision with a world power whom we love to hate, but zealously served since 1947.

International and local punditry, on the breakdown of the ISI-CIA relationship, also proved to be a bogey, as the two organisations continued to engage and find a solution. Whether such a solution was desirable, strictly on the canons of international law, is a different subject altogether. The most important lesson that we may note for our future misadventures is not to whip public emotion against law, reason and civilised norms of diplomacy. As it is, we have misinformed the public, packed lies into textbooks and allowed the mullahs and media mujahideen to spread hate at will. All of this is definitely not in our national interest or national dignity. We can only be protecting our honour if we appear as a law-abiding, civilised polity and not a jingoistic state, full of armed lunatics in the public domain.

We were told that Zardari’s goose would be cooked if he were to let Raymond Davis go through the Foreign Office channels. It appears that Zardari, even after his deft handling of the political game in Pakistan, continues to be underestimated. Questions about his ethics and legitimacy aside, he has yet again established his skill in averting and negotiating several crises. Of course, the Pakistani right is going to portray him as a villain even after their favorite diyat and qisas laws have been applied in the Davis affair.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the guardians of national honour, despite their loud proclamations, could only muster a few thousand rupees to look after the families of Davis’ victims. Media reports suggested that the right wing religious parties had made generous offers to the victims’ families, should they reject the diyat package from the evil US. This also reminds one of the Aafia Siddiqui case, where, reportedly, her brother could only raise $10,000 from the Pakistani/Muslim community in the US and that’s why the Pakistani government had to intervene to defray Aafia’s legal defence costs totaling $2 million!

Honour-obsessed TV anchors and analysts have not liked the outcome of this saga and some are loudly claiming that qisas and diyat laws were not applicable in this particular case. Or the families have been pressurised and that Pakistan has not protected its sovereignty. Quite frankly, they will have to swallow the propaganda they have churned out and, for a change, answer for their ignorance of laws, international politics and history. Pakistan needs to strengthen its economy, undertake major social reform and only then it can think of dictating to the world with augmented bargaining power. Nuclear prowess alone cannot please the gods. Simple.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2011.

Reader Comments (62)

  • faraz
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:05PM

    Its funny that Imran Khan is attacking Zardari and Nawaz for release of Raymond although the entire deal has been organized by the military establishment; Imran never objects to the army’s non-state actors, proxy wars or strategic depth policy. But i think thats fair in politics, atleast he is showing some signs of political maturity.Recommend

  • Khurram
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:28PM

    Raza Saheb your six paragraphs form a very thoughtful and challenging meditation on our ever widening socio-political crisis and sum up brilliantly the true plight of our deeply flawed nation, hypocrite leadership and her ever confused populace. It bothers me to admit but we are a live example of a Banana Republic.Recommend

  • Perwana
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:42PM

    They all are to be blamed PPP, PML-N, and Military establishment. Are they really there to protect their country? I doubt it!! Recommend

  • John
    Mar 18, 2011 - 12:07AM

    It may appear a good political settlement now, but has set a bad precedent for future. Honor is what one believes in. Now the whole world knows what that honor believes are: from Asia Bibi to R. Davis.Recommend

  • D. Asghar
    Mar 18, 2011 - 12:15AM

    @ Raza Bhai…Spot on as usual. Wish I had the penny worth of your eloquence and elegance.Recommend

  • Bangash
    Mar 18, 2011 - 12:18AM

    Excellent article. Pakistanis delude themselves with conspiracies and power then complain the cold reality slaps them in the face. Americans truly pulled a number by using Shariat laws to get Raymond Davis out and outmaneuvre mullahs.Recommend

  • Ali K Chishti
    Mar 18, 2011 - 12:29AM

    Brilliant analysis. The gharat-brigade it seem’s got conned – Bravo Raza Rumi!

    Folks like you are the true, patriots. Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 12:30AM

    So Raza bhai for Vienna convention to diayt.. Good move.

    1st, Faheem widow already reject this proposal

    2nd, all this done in a very dramatically manner, that a common man can under stand the “whole game” of saving a amercians criminal….

    So Govt use Shaira law as a “tool”only…nothing else.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Mar 18, 2011 - 12:59AM

    A begger with a elephany, that it can neither eat nor sell, but takes lot of money to take care of it. I was talking about a certain country with the ‘bomb’, that supposedly has made it impregnable ! What a sad joke on its unfortunate populace.Recommend

  • Salim Ansari
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:02AM

    The country has lost its honour because it has been wasting time, money and effort on dealing with a non-existing threat and in the process has sold itself to bidders – first USA and then China. Here is why the threat is non-existent:

    India is not interested in occupying Pakistan.
    Although secular, India DOES NOT want more Muslims within its borders.
    In 60+ years Indian Muslims have evolved differently from other Muslims. India may not be utopia for them, but they access to Institutions of the State AND non-Muslim Indians to protect them and guarantee their rights. ( Contrast this to Pakistan where Islamic safeguard for minorities and women are cited at every opportunity, but ground realities are exactly opposite )
    There is no danger of large scale Indian Muslims migrating to Pakistan.
    There is no danger of Hindus migrating to Pakistan.
    Jammu and Kashmir can not be won in a war. ( Can not win against India in a conventional war, can not fight a nuclear war. )
    India does not even want Azad Kashmir – it suits them to have a part of Kashmir in Pakistan that is under-developed compared to Jammu And Kashmir.

    The only “threat” I see is from the projection of Indian/Hindu culture onto the Pakistani people. But to deal with this, is there a need for a 4Billion$ military ?

    Talking about projection of culture projection – does not the dominant power always do that – case in point the projection of Islamic religion/culture by all conquerors since the time of Muhammad-bin-Qasim.

    If the Muslims had not been the dominant power – would not things have been different ? Would there even be a war on terror ? Something to think about.

    ( All religions preach the same thing. No one is better that the other. This is the basic truth. Ignore at your own peril. Peace )Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 1:04AM

    Incredible, hard, fact.

    If some Pakistanis are reading and thinking about all this, Pakistan has a future other than the past months of black hole of insanity.Recommend

  • sceptic ali
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:06AM

    raza sahib – you are being too kind, why beat around the bush? the truth is that pakistan needs america desperately – for without american financial injections the nation of pakistan would have to declare bankruptcy, literally. and without ameircan dollars, pakistani economy would suffer greatly, which would further destabilize the nation [ yup, it can fall further still ]. without american money transfers pakistan could very well split again – a la 1971.
    so pakistanis should be grateful that davis gate was resolved and go about their business. and if they are really concerned about their ghairat, pakistanis should start paying their taxes, so that the govt. doesn’t have to go hat in hand begging for money.Recommend

  • sceptic ali
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:21AM

    so much for the tribune being a liberal news paper. there is no liberal in pakistan. tribune and ilk should be defined as center right – the left most position in pakistani political opinion. the rest are all right off that position. quite sad.Recommend

  • standard herald
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:39AM

    I agree with the general thrust of the article

    however

    I believe interests of the state have superseded the interests of the awam. They are honestly upset & feel very frustrated (used) – more accurately this incident had added to their frustrations.

    I do not know yet – if this will be another Lal Masjid but I do know this is another negative mile stone that will go into the awam’s psyche – this will be a point they and the manipulators will refer to in the future.

    The establishment was wrong in using this incident to increase their bargaining power with Amrika – the negative asraats on the citizens especially those that need their faith constantly to continue on with their ever increasingly miserable lives.

    May I quickly add that if this piece were to be translated & published in the people’s language by now the comment section would have been closed.Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:46AM

    It is a supreme irony — not just an ordinary one that this case was “settled” by a law we all clamor for and abhor at the same time!

    For me, personally, if I read another “analysis” of this most unfortunate episode, I will throw-up.Recommend

  • Usman
    Mar 18, 2011 - 2:19AM

    The way this guy has ridiculed the so called “ghairat brigade”, I think he seems proud to be a Champion of “Beghairat Brigade”

    Partially one can agree that we need to set our house in order, but how is he qualified to discuss a religious law that he has no knowledge about?

    This is our problem; Mullahs are jahil for sure, similarly the so called liberals aka “beghairat brigade” is absolutely biased and jahil to the other extremem!Recommend

  • ArifQ
    Mar 18, 2011 - 2:42AM

    Narrative does not change: Zaradari/NS bad; All Liberals/secularists are American agents; America bad; Pakistani awam mazloom; media azad; judiciary azad; Pakistan army and agencies, silence. Reza Sahib, Americans got their main released this was going to happen one way or the other, and there is victory for the ghairat brigade who now have another effigy to burn. Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 2:47AM

    so the lesson learnt is a killer can get off if he pays up

    all else is hogwash

    btw, someone should dig up the source of those payments

    that would really upset some peopleRecommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 3:18AM

    For us, as Pakistanis, what is clear is that the notion of an independent judiciary and free media are but a myth. During this saga the military has manipulated both. The orchestration of his release coupled with the military negotiating Raymond Davi’s release to their own maximum advantage goes to show that the courts are not beyond the influence of the military.

    So while the military has intervened to release a US national from a Pakistani court, and now returned to its usual “we condemn drone strikes” rhetoric, what does its continued silence on the murder of Salman Taseer and Shabhaz Bhatti say about them? They can intervene in the affairs of the court to release a CIA contractor, but they cant push for the convictions of self-confessed assassins? No wonder all the cases filed in the Supreme Court regarding military landgrabs, DHA, construction in the Margalla National Park, missing persons have all been muddled and catching dust.

    Even though I completely agree with your article, I was hoping to see Shireen Mazari here, telling us how the “liberal elites” have let go of Raymond Davis. Recommend

  • Pat
    Mar 18, 2011 - 4:14AM

    Hi, I am not a Pakistani, nor a Muslim. I do not understand one thing, why such a fuss about this case? Why such a hatred against Raymond Davis? Raymond killed, okay, but then he also paid. Everything happened per the Shariat, that’s what I have read. Why Pakistani people are so outraged when the entire case took place in accordance with the laws that people believe in?

    And I also want to know that when such a law as Diyat was in place, then those who did not want Mr. Davis to capitalize on it, should have already made their offer to the grieving families. Apparently, throughout the two months Davis was under custody no one really bothered or cared about the families. Everyone seemed very eager to use the families as the bastion of patriotism. It rather looks nice that ultimately they got the best deal possible, which no Pakistani was ready to provide. Recommend

  • ani
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:49AM

    Brilliant as always.

    The charge of the ghairat brigade

    to the left they swore punishment
    to the right they promised justice
    to the high and almighty they promised sacrifice
    to all they committed to bat until honor be had

    but then Uncle showed up with a bag full of dinari
    and ISI bowled a diyat googly

    the ghairat brigade clean bowled and dishonored returned defrocked….. Recommend

  • Amer Badayun
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:43AM

    This system of ‘patchwork’ exceptions,
    sanctified by extra judicial ‘stakeholders’,
    cannot deliver true justice,
    or binding correctives / punishment / sentence.

    Time to draft secular laws.
    But for that to happen,
    the legislators have to legislate,
    instead of the slugfest we have in the national assembly.
    And they won’t legislate.
    Because after Taseer and Bhatti,
    they have learned their lesson.
    Only too well.

    Still, Pakistan needs a secular legislative,
    executive and judiciary, independent of each other.
    In short, Quaid E Aazam, was right.
    We must become a secular state.
    We have been in denial for too long. Recommend

  • saher
    Mar 18, 2011 - 10:06AM

    this is called makafaat-e-amal.. lolzz… 40000 people or more came out on streets for the preservance of islamic laws… ijtihad is dead… no one is allowed to question that how actually a law is enforced… every other day a brother or father are released after killing their wives and daughters in the name of honour… no one gives a second thought if given a chance of moving abroad…what ghairat are we talking abt??
    we give capital punishment to one who is illiterate and probably didnt even had any idea what she was talking abt… and free the one who deliberately killed two men in broad daylight, causing general fear… all in the name of upholding the islamic laws. Recommend

  • Mango Man
    Mar 18, 2011 - 10:13AM

    It appears that the Pak Right fell victims to its own scheme of things and their hand was outplayed by the govt and US. Hope they will at least learn from their mistakes and move aheadRecommend

  • bhutjolokia
    Mar 18, 2011 - 10:20AM

    Americans probably think that it was worth the money to see Pakistan make a spectacle of itself.Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 10:50AM

    There is no doubt that justice was served, but is the manner in which it was served that is questionable. Does anyone here disagree with the fact that America has mostly been unfair to us? The problem is despite the unfairness we have made our destiny around it. Its our life support therefore it can do what it wants. The threats of stopping the military’s aid must’ve sent shivers down the spines of our gutless generals. They had to save their “honour”. They did what comes naturally to them; sold the nation’s honour.

    Here are just some thoughts I penned down:
    http://www.thetrueperspective.com/2011/03/price-of-two-pakistani-lives-23-million.htmlRecommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 10:50AM

    There is no doubt that justice was served, but is the manner in which it was served that is questionable. Does anyone here disagree with the fact that America has mostly been unfair to us? The problem is despite the unfairness we have made our destiny around it. Its our life support therefore it can do what it wants. The threats of stopping the military’s aid must’ve sent shivers down the spines of our gutless generals. They had to save their “honour”. They did what comes naturally to them; sold the nation’s honour.

    Here are just some thoughts I penned down:
    http://www.thetrueperspective.com/2011/03/price-of-two-pakistani-lives-23-million.htmlRecommend

  • Taimur
    Mar 18, 2011 - 12:41PM

    I wonder why nobody has questioned the role of JI and Mullahs in the whole drama. The lawyer was an active member of JI. Throughout the proceedings he never raised question that there is just one case registered against Raymond. May be it was a pre-planned act to keep the nation in total darkness. It was JI which exploited the issue both before and after Raymond’s release. These religious parties also carried out a press conference at Dr. Afia’s house in which Waseem, the brother of Faheem, announced he will never accept money and said ” Aisa karna pakistaniat or islam ki ghairat ka soda karna hoga”. But then this deal was done so efficiently. Well played 3M ( Miltary Mullah Media ) alliance.Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 12:56PM

    Excellent article RR.Recommend

  • sajjad
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:44PM

    one question only
    Do we believe in Islamic law?
    if yes then why so much fuss on Raymond Davis issue.
    if no then let Asia Bibi go to her children.Recommend

  • sajjad
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:48PM

    @ Express Tribune
    i have been writing comments ,which are related to the articles and you guys dont post it on the site…i wonder why…i think you also have chosen the path of GHAIRAT BRIGADERecommend

  • Raj
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:57PM

    What Honour is Pakistanis talking about?? Only honour this country has is begging for Aid and handouts from doner nations!!!
    If they really were concerned about their honour, then the state of affairs in the country would not have been as it is at present!! Ask them to pay taxes, repay bank loans, and contribute to building social serbices for the needy first! then talk about honour!!!
    its cheap to talk, and even cheaper to have sheeps out on streets for demos, but proof is in the pudding!!! The nation has turned in to hypocrates, and few educated liberals have been intimidated into silence to watch the slide into oblivion!Recommend

  • Raza
    Mar 18, 2011 - 2:20PM

    Looking the ones who are in the position to bring reforms and a better economy, there’s no hope yet.

    Also, come to think of it, all these people condemning the release due to the Diyat law are actually not accepting the law anymore? Or are they specifically objecting to the misuse of the law? Either way how is the position of these protesting millions any different from Taseer’s? Shouldn’t Qadri start buying ammo in bulk now? Could he become the boom boom Qadri of this Islamic sport?Recommend

  • AHK
    Mar 18, 2011 - 3:03PM

    Are you still insisting that Raymond Davis enjoyed diplomatic immunity just because the US govt. said so?

    Shouldn’t it be clear by now that in actuality he didn’t. If he was our government wouldn’t have the balls to hold him in lockup for one hour. We would be under intense international pressure, economic as well as diplomatic. The US case for diplomatic immunity was weak, that is why they had to find this way out of the whole mess.Recommend

  • Zia Hashmi
    Mar 18, 2011 - 3:40PM

    House of false patriotism collapsing on its own weight is the best thing coming out of the ongoing clash between two extremes..nothing that we see a logic in the talk by either side…there is so much which is questionable so not going to a word but we are going to ROAR sooooon…because like so many milions out there i for one trust and believe that we represent another generation that is the REAL Pakistan…and we shall emerge from the silence that will follow the complete annihilation of these two extremes….and the process has BEGUN!!!Recommend

  • huma ijaz Zaman
    Mar 18, 2011 - 3:55PM

    Well analysed article. Even lawyers cannot find fault with the use of diyat law and in thsi case all procedures were complied with.Recommend

  • Zia Hashmi
    Mar 18, 2011 - 5:10PM

    Please share the views expressed earlier…this is called guts..u liberals dont have it unfortunately hence i put you guys in the same category where extremists stand..both killing the soul of the nation but we also exist to protect and preserve our soul…time is on our sides and your credibility, your ideology and your commitments all stand exposed right in front of the emergence of true pakistan….but that emergence has to born out of the death of Pakistan’s killers – religious snakes and fake political liberals. PERIOD.Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 5:39PM

    AHK
    I am not ‘insisting’ on anything. Please re-read and then jump to conclusions. I have always maintained that the job of certifying immunity is the task of the Foreign Office and it has not done its job. Recommend

  • Nafees Ahmad
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:08PM

    Hard facts, yet Army, Judiciary, Politician, Religious Scholars, Government, Establishment, every one is involved. Now a precedent has been set and i wonder how many more Davis do the same thing in Pakistan. whos gonna stop them???? (yesterday drones attack is first example).

    Everyone is talking about the death of two Pakistani. What about ill-legal weapon (that cost him Rs20,000/- only) and crime against state which are even more threatening.. has anyone or any channel talked about it ? and has CJ take suo-moto on it??.

    Overall its shameful act by all the above named institutions. Time has come that we ask these people who are enjoying the life at the cost of Pakistan Nation, on the tax money paid by us and above all taking heavy loans on Pakistani people for nothing.

    First time in life i feel ashamed being a Pakistani and accepting the fact that these are my Pakistani co-citizen representing 200 million people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • ally
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:20PM

    the issue isnt the blood money alone..when the cases were being filed at that time no one thot of the terrosit courts or espionage were happy with just the murder trial..well, when you are pompously ignorant thats what happensRecommend

  • Khurram
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:35PM

    Another episode that proves that we are a nation, if we can be called one, which is delusional not interested in anything substantive rather would continue to blame everybody else for its own failures and not look at its own doings. Compare us with Japanese and how they are responding to the national crisis. Unfortunately we dont learn lessons and hence would continue to suffer… Recommend

  • Ashwin
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:45PM

    I would think it is a pragmatic to let Raymond Davis go.But it was foolish to create the Hype around the issue.After all what did the media,Pakistani FO and the establishment gain, all they did is make the Pakistani more desperate, well i always thought the Pakistani Left group always hyped the strength of GHQ , but now i believe, what is worst these powers don’t want to share what led them to release him, it couldn’t be the fear of law definitely not, was it the much needed economic Help or weapons to fight imagined enemy’s.I think the Pakistani’s need to ask what did they gain from this, they should ask these questions at GHQ not the parliament of Pakistan.Let us see now the so called Civil Society of Pakistan ask GHQ for answers. If anyone here wants to say the Govt of the Day has to answer, one might wonder then why all critical decisions are taken at GHQ.if they(Establishment) want to earn putting Pakistani at peril, I believe every Pakistani has a write to ask, as to what do they gain. Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Mar 18, 2011 - 10:45PM

    @Salim Ansari:
    You are spot on that India is quite contented with Kashmir held by it and had even suggested that Line of Control(LOC) can be converted into International Border(IB). Therefore, chances of India attacking Pakistan to grab Pak held Kashmir by force is extremly remote or one can say is ruled out. However, Pak Army continues to remain India centric and spends billions to match its neighbour which is quite foolhardy and same is adversely affecting its already frail economy.Recommend

  • LOL
    Mar 18, 2011 - 11:05PM

    Raza – I hope you father a lot of children. Pakistan needs smart people like you. Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 18, 2011 - 11:33PM

    @LOL:

    Being smart and producing lot of children are mutually exclusive things ——– if you are smart you don’t multiply like rats —- like most of Pakistanis do.Recommend

  • XX
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:20AM

    @Salim Ansari:
    Missed out one major potential threat buddy:
    All (ALL) the fresh water that flows through Pakistan originates from Indian territory (Kashmir – the Siachen Glacier).Recommend

  • Salman
    Mar 19, 2011 - 3:18AM

    @XX. It will be too contaminated for Indians to consume too. That’s
    a guarantee ask the Japanese Recommend

  • Fareedi
    Mar 19, 2011 - 9:59AM

    It is a wakeup call for all Pakistanis. We have to rise beyond Party Politics and think of Pakistan. Those responsible for this National shame must never be re-elected. If we do not realize what our responsibility is, we should not complain.

    Wake up my Country men, or remain asleep for ever.Recommend

  • ambreen wajid
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Dear Mr. Rumi,
    Congratulations on another eloquent piece. You have handled the issue deftly. With one hand you have taken a clever swipe at some “shortsighted politicians” such as the former Foreign Minister for standing up to those “they report to” and with another you have heaped further scorn on the right wing “ghairat brigade”. But pray enlighten if neither options are viable for this dysfunctional polity called Pakistan where does the solution lie?

    In your view Shah Mahmood Qureshi was short sighted to have taken a stand on the immunity issue and thus lost his Ministry. If I follow the argument in your article, then standing up for principles is foolish and negates pragmatism in international relations. But I want to know where does pragmatism end and spinelessness begin? Because if you look around Mr. Rumi, theres nobody out there defending Pakistan. If we dont stand up for ourselves nobody else will.

    International diplomatic corp is unanimous in its view that the US has acted shamelessly in this episode. President Obama has been caught lying in public, “this is our diplomat”! I recommend that you may please read Craig Murray’s article in the Guardian on this. You might get enlightened.

    With best regards
    Ambreen WajidRecommend

  • Arshad Farooqui
    Mar 19, 2011 - 9:07PM

    @Pat: Diyat should be paid when murderer pleaded guilty, Raymond or his relatives or his government should offer diyat to murdered family, but in this Raymond did not plead guilty, and diyat was paid by Pakistani or Saudi Government. This happened against the Islamic (Shariah) laws and joke with Shariah.
    I am not arguing why Raymond set free, the main point is Shariah law is applicable on only poor people, rich people can kill whoever they want and they will be free after paying diyat.
    There no real Islamic State in Pakistan, it has been by non religious, trained by our old master British Raj, God fearing never got a chance to run the country. I do not know why we call our homeland Islamic Democratic Pakistan.Recommend

  • Qalandar Khan Mastana
    Mar 19, 2011 - 9:42PM

    This is pathetic pathetic pathetic ad nauseum of all the despicable acts this has got to be the bottom of the pit. It beats all principles of logic, diplomacy and decency if there ever were in Pakistani judiciary or the US foreign affairs. One can’t even condemn it, it is contemptible beyond human ability to comprehend the absolute degeneracy. One thing is for sure, if there is anything that can be done with respect to the US involvement, it can only be by the people of Pakistan …. People (of Pakistan) v the Govt of US. $2m to save a killer, a drone to kill 35 civilians, all within 24 hours.Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 2:46AM

    The author is right. We need to carry a big stick before we speak at all.
    And please, enough with the Pakistan-bashing and liberal-bashing. Constructive criticism from all spectrums of thought and ideology is always become, but nasty comments always make me wonder what the ET comment monitors are up to :p
    FYI this is an angry outburst because my last (rather extensive) comment to this post was not published. Recommend

  • HK
    Mar 20, 2011 - 6:45PM

    So the medieval Sharia Law let down Pakistani honour and sovereignty.Recommend

  • Adil Khan
    Mar 20, 2011 - 9:07PM

    Its funny that Imran Khan is attacking Zardari and Nawaz for release of Raymond although the entire deal has been organized by the military establishment; Imran never objects to the army’s non-state actors, proxy wars or strategic depth policy. But i think thats fair in politics, atleast he is showing some signs of political maturity.Recommend

  • Zia Hashmi
    Mar 20, 2011 - 9:46PM

    Zabardast…yeh hai asal baat…this is the story of fake LIONS…one sleeping with political hayenas and other has a heart problem very well known to us!..even if he had the real one i would say he derserved it and the behavior of the shorter version in the midst of this crisis proves it….how can they lead us out of the troubles they are respobsible for…lets do our bit not to get trapped in their politics…time now for revisiting political positioning at individual levels. Recommend

  • Safia Rashid
    Mar 21, 2011 - 12:15AM

    Well said Ms Wajid. As eloquent as Mr Rumi is he has failed to draw or even perceive for that matter the line between pragmatism and spinelessness. Frankly I’m sick to my stomach of the lack of spine being shown by our govt be it Raymond Davis, thei troductionof VAT or increasing and retracting petrol prices. The only shortsightedness on display here is of our government and those who lead it (if h can call what they do leading!) Mr Qureshi may have committed political suicide but I for one am proud of him for he had the courage to believe and have conviction. He stood for truth. He stood for Pakistan. He stood for ME! Recommend

  • Tasadduq Mukhtar
    Mar 21, 2011 - 10:45PM

    We cannot develop our economy unless we correct our orientation and assert. The recent events have vindicated what rightists have been saying all along–alliance with US on the shady war on terror is catastrophic. That outside powers are not letting true democracy flourish in Pakistan to keep political control of the country for their interests. Our geostrategic importance has become a liability for us. This remote-controlled political system doesn’t let visionary and sincere leadership emerge through it. We all knew Davis would be released but it’s not a vindication of it being the right thing to happen. It’s easy to justify all acts in this world on a slippery slope of arguments or merely by state necessity. But a nation whose leadership condones killing of its people like this under whichever law, it loses its moral and even legal legitimacy to rule. It’s hard to imagine what constitutional right the government (reportedly of Punjab, with a nod from other power centers) had to convince the families of the victims to pardon a murder which would set a bad precedent for the future (yes, there is one that has been set in international law). Why at the minimum those families would not wait for a conviction and then offer a pardon, if indeed they wanted to. Don’t we know how such orders to convince the families of victims are executed by administration or police or intelligence? And then it was not merely a question of two deaths. It exposed the extent of CIA operations in Pakistan. It’s not clear what concrete steps has the government taken to control CIA’s adventures or wider US operations in our country. The subsequent drone attack in Waziristan doesn’t show that US has even a symbolic regret or sympathy with Pakistanis, or it’s client government from another angle, over the fall out of Davis case. Isn’t it a core national security issue on which the country’s leadership should take the nation, or at least the parliament into confidence? Parties across the political spectrum and establishment have all put up such a shameless cover-up and silence on this that it’s hard to believe it. This shows that against the will of the people America’s control of our political junta is complete. The much celebrated vision of Jinnah was not to become a sattelite state for a power. Instead he would settle the internal strife through negotiation, unite the nation around some core principles, and put up a bold face to the world. The anti-American sentiment is now spread across the society because among other reasons the cost of this shady alliance with US is not being felt by the elite. With no trickle down effect of money from a cheap sell off of vital national interests, public is less enthusiastic about the cooperation with US on any pretext. This economic argument is however of less importance. I think there are a lot of people in Pakistan who would put their ‘ghairat’ above money. I believe it’s not a brigade, but an army so to speak. It’s not the voice of rightists anymore rather of the overwhelming majority of the society to whom I believe people like me belong to. In any case I believe anyone’s opnion should not be satirized. Recommend

  • Tamania
    Mar 22, 2011 - 8:35AM

    Totally agree, raza. Like the term media mujahideen.Recommend

  • Zia Hashmi
    Mar 22, 2011 - 10:17AM

    Thanks Mukhtar…fully support your contention but alas our so called liberals, on whom the naton pinned so much hope for bringing in genuine democracy and justice failed to take such a line when testing times came, their commitments vanished…excuses of all sorts emerged and we continue to witness theatrics!!…the current regime with its tentacles in the media is one of the many examples of so-called liberla, democratic, legitimately elected government government…not that i am impressed with the quality of leadership or lack there of…issue is all about handling…all you needed was wisdom and thinking beyond petty interests….dispute-resoltion of the worst order…failure to grasp the extent of public agony over this matter exposed the disconnect…those in power now following Muti-Pao approach but i believe people at large are outraged..not a single excuse will work and i firmly believe this issue will explode in the times to come…what happened, the way it concluded and how it is being justified for resolution or the way it is still being resonated and reported..its gonna go on….i dont want to raise the boggy of ghairat…my point is Pakistan faces existential threat wiht serious security implications for other powers too so there are times like these requiring deft, wise but REAL handling….when the wounds are so deep and people are no more ready to take it anymore therefore Davis issue must have been settled in a way that would have strengthened the relations but instead it has further ruputred the legitimate basis of Pak-US ties…being well schooled in diplomacy, law and Realpolitik is one thing, feeling the pulse and adressing the wounds of a nation require a different toolkit..and one thing in that kind of toolkit in my PRIDELAND calls for transacting the business faily and openly..PERIOD!Recommend

  • Mar 23, 2011 - 12:25PM

    It was an Islamic law, for which we often cry for, that resulted in our own humiliation.Recommend

  • ayesha malik
    Apr 17, 2011 - 3:20AM

    @huma ijaz Zaman: were you there that you know that all procedures were complied with? one person kills innocent people and then tries to take advantage of his nationality and his peers threaten the families of the victims and you are saying that all procedures were complied with. The families of the victims are said to be locked somewhere and no one knows about it. Please I suggest you to at least read all the facts before passing such weird comments.Recommend

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