Family members of the two men shot dead by CIA contractor Raymond Davis have secretly been flown out of the country, The Express Tribune has learnt.
A chartered plane carrying 18 family members of Faizan Haider and Faheem Shamshad, the two men killed by Davis, left the Chaklala air base on Friday at 4:30 pm for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), sources said.
The plane landed at the Dubai airport from where the 18 people proceeded to Abu Dhabi where two houses have been rented for them. Four American Green Cards and two residences in the US have also been arranged for the two families.
Interestingly, husbands of the seven sisters of the two victims have also disappeared along with their children, the sources said. They have been shifted to undisclosed location for their safety.
They will soon be shifted to Abu Dhabi to be reunited with other members of their respective families. They include Muhammad Afzal and Ramzan, spouses of Faheem’s sisters Nazia and Mumtaz, and Amir Hashmi, Malik Khurram, Rasheed Chohan, Ayub and Imran, husbands of Faizan’s sisters Mumtaz, Nazia, Aasia, Zille Huma, Shazia and Saima.
Davis was acquitted by a court on Wednesday after the two families agreed to execute a ‘blood money’ deal to pardon him.
Court documents show discrepancies in the amount of money given to the legal heirs of the two slain men. It has also been learnt that the heirs of the two deceased men had no idea about the blood money deal, even hours before the deal was struck on Friday.
The documents, copies of which are available with The Express Tribune, do not mention how the money was paid.
Interestingly, three payment receipts, written on plain paper without any official attestation, were presented in the court on Friday. The heirs of Faizan and Faheem were made to sign these receipts in the Kot Lakhpat jail minutes before the hearing.
The amount of money given to each heir of Faheem’s family was handwritten to show that overall Rs100 million in blood money was paid to the family. A similar one-page document was used to show the amount paid to members of Faizan’s family.
Legal experts believe that because the documents are in Urdu language, they must have been drafted by Pakistani authorities in a bid to allow members of both the families to accept the deal without consulting any outside legal expert in order to keep Davis’ release a secret.
The sources said that US Consul-General Carmela Conroy, Consular Officer Jasson Rieff and Officer of Foreign Litigation Paul Harrep, struck the blood money deal, which was brokered by functionaries of a Pakistani intelligence agency and the Punjab government.
They added that the families of the two victims were taken into ‘protective custody’ on March 14 at the start of negotiations for the blood money deal and remained in custody until Friday when they boarded a chartered plane at the Chaklala air base.
According to documents presented in the court, Faheem’s father Shamshad Ali received Rs11.11 million as blood money, Halima Begum (mother) got Rs33.33 million, Muhammad Saleem, Muhammad Waseem, Muhammad Jamshaid and Muhammad Akram (brothers) got Rs11.11 million each, while Nazia Afzal and Mumtaz (sisters) received Rs5.55 million.
Similarly, Faizan’s mother Perveen Akhtar got Rs33.33 million, his widow Zehra got Rs25 million, while Imran, Usman and Salman (brothers) received Rs7.5 million each, and his sisters got Rs3.78 million each.
According to the deal, four persons from the two families would first go to the US after completing visa formalities. Later, other family members would be considered for permanent residence in the US, the sources said.
Earlier arrangements had been made for the two families in Pakistan, so that they could complete the necessary paperwork. The situation, however, changed when Iqbal Jaffery, a senior lawyer, requested the court to summon the legal heirs of Faizan and Faheem. It was then that the authorities decided to send both the families to the UAE.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2011.