Lahore shootings: As the case unfolds, the mystery deepens

Published: January 29, 2011
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US consulate employee Davis is escorted by police and officials after appearing before a judge in Lahore. PHOTO: REUTERS

US consulate employee Davis is escorted by police and officials after appearing before a judge in Lahore. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: As the US diplomatic machinery moved to calm a brewing storm over Thursday’s shooting incident in Lahore involving an official attached to its consulate, peculiar details are trickling in regarding the exact identity of the man.

US Ambassador Cameron Munter is learnt to have met Foreign Secretary Salman Basheer, requesting the federal government’s intervention in the case of US official Raymond Allen Davis, who gunned down two young motorcyclists near Lahore’s Qurtaba Chowk in apparent self-defence. The case is currently being handled by the Punjab government, and Davis has been remanded into police custody for six days, according to police officials, by a magistrate.

Munter, according to well-placed sources, is said to have brought up the Geneva Convention, under which diplomats are allowed diplomatic immunity. The provincial government has so far refused to bring the international protocol into play. Other diplomats are also learnt to have tried to contact the Punjab government.

The Foreign Office is learnt to have contacted the Punjab government requesting case details. There has also been a meeting between Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik regarding the matter.  Gen. Kayani is said to have advised Malik to handle the matter with ‘extreme care’ given its sensitive nature. He also advised that, aside from the apparent diplomatic links, Davis’ military links should also be kept in mind as the case moves forward.

Also discussed was the law and order situation that could arise if Davis is granted immunity.

Who is Davis?

Meanwhile, intelligence data shows that Davis has visited Pakistan nine times since 2009.

According to records available with The Express Tribune, Allen Davis, aged 37, visited Pakistan for the first time on October 18, 2009, landing in Islamabad. His last entry into Pakistan was on January 20, 2011, when he landed in Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport.

Davis travelled using a regular passport, on which he had regular visit visas. There was no diplomatic passport.

Insiders say that Davis was performing duties as a technical advisor serving in the Intelligence and Security Wings of the US Embassy in Islamabad and the consulate in Lahore. He also made frequent visits to Karachi and Peshawar. The police are said to have recovered an identity card from Davis for the US’ Peshawar consulate.

Pakistani intelligence agencies have so far not reached any conclusion and had not submitted a report regarding the incident till the filing of this report. However, initial data suggests that police or other security/intelligence agencies had no record or intimation of Davis’ movement or participation in official events since he first arrived in Pakistan in 2009.

According to policy guidelines and security advisory issued by the Foreign and Interior Ministries, US officials are, for their own security, not meant to move around without informing security officials due to the terror threat in the country. The vehicle Davis was driving was locally-registered, and did not have diplomatic number plates.

Initial reports revolved around a possible looting attempt by the men on the motorcycles, to which Davis is said to have retaliated. Conversely, some reports rejected the robbery bid. However, it is unclear what would have provoked Davis to open fire.

A new angle to the incident, submitted in a statement by Davis himself, has it that the vehicle he was driving had had a minor collision with a Rickshaw a little before the incident. Therefore, if not a robbery, the two men could have chased the vehicle to argue with the driver.

Tristram Perry, the information officer of the US Consulate in Lahore, did not answer queries regarding Davis’ immunity, saying that he has been requested by Islamabad to not comment on the incident. “We are working with Pakistani authorities to determine the facts and work toward a resolution,” he said

FIRs against the deceased

Meanwhile, though it was initially reported that the two deceased motorcyclists had no criminal record, the police registered FIRs against them posthumously on Friday, police sources told The Express Tribune.

The complainants, Doctor Farzand and Sheharyar Malik, in a written application, state that the two had robbed them of their mobiles and cash just before the incident and were fleeing.

As evidence, the two have referred to phone logs of calls made to Rescue 1-5 about the incident right after it happened. The police say that two mobile phones were recovered from the deceased which matched the description of those the applicants had complained to 1-5 had been stolen.

However, the police had also shown the recovery of foreign currency from the deceased, which they say had also been looted. On the other hand, there is yet to be a complaint regarding the theft of foreign currency on the day of the incident.

In the FIR registered against Davis, the police have also included charges of carrying an illegal weapon – a Glock pistol and two magazines. The police also recovered a digital camera, a phone tracker with a charger.

Conversely, the police so far have no information about the other vehicle that came to rescue Davis and crushed a motorcyclist – Ibadullah – in the process. After killing the man, the vehicle fled from the scene. Davis did not disclose who was heading to his rescue, but did tell the police that, after the incident, he telephoned his Regional Security Officer who might have sent some officials for his rescue.

A police officer, on condition of anonymity, said that they had, through the Lahore Capital City Police Officer, sent a formal request to Pakistan’s foreign office to contact the US Consulate to identify those in the vehicle for their arrest.

The security of the US consulate has meanwhile been increased in light of increasing protests against the incident, The Express Tribune has learnt.

WITH REPORTING BY SONIA MALIK AND RAMEEZ KHAN

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (45)

  • ali
    Jan 29, 2011 - 7:19AM

    nothing is being said about identity of those killed, usually media goes to their homes immediately and creates drama. maybe they were intelligence guys? just saying. if the american is found guilty, should be given strong punishmentRecommend

  • khan
    Jan 29, 2011 - 7:50AM

    I have been held up at gun point on two occasions and robbed. Armed robbers prowling on motorcycles seeking victims, especially those who have been spotted withdrawing cash from a bank, is a common local phenomenon. Personally, if that is what happened then the American would have acted in self defence with some justification.

    However as his gun was unlicensed, he is liable under the laws of Pakistan unless he can prove himself to be a diplomat which may him with protection under international law.

    In the meantime the driver of the second vehicle which ran over an innocent bystander should be tracked down and prosecuted.Recommend

  • Hamid Khan
    Jan 29, 2011 - 8:11AM

    Pakistan Army, you are the only hope right now if you let this person go without justice, we will never forgive you!Recommend

  • Uzair Javaid
    Jan 29, 2011 - 8:29AM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody from the consulate had bribed someone for a statement of robbery against the 2 deceased. Raymond was reported by the eye-witnesses and media as carrying a digital camera and took pictures of the 2 he killed. That might have been used against them. Raymond might also be innocent as well, but Rahman malik seems ashamed as expected and very usual to have led his paymasters down.

    Army chief’s entry into the scene is a good sign. As he would certainly like his trial and punishment if found guilty. USA should now be dealt with strictly to curb their business around interior and busy parts of the city where they are not supposed to be, while carrying cameras, trackers and other devices that have caused alarms in the recent 2years as well.Recommend

  • Adil
    Jan 29, 2011 - 8:51AM

    There is no doubt that Davis has mudered two Pakistani citizens in broad daylight therefore he MUST be handed death sentence in accordance with and to uphold the law. Any failure in serving justice would be unacceptable……Recommend

  • VoP
    Jan 29, 2011 - 9:00AM

    With the twists and turns of the case, what was true since the news first broke out is the inconsistency of the story. Although its not too far fetched, conspiracy theorist will persist that Raymond is a CIA agent. We all know that the presence of agents in the country has increased dramatically, so who could be an agent. The case for Raymond is strong, the position he held, the immediate calls to invoke diplomatic status, which he obviously does not qualify for (no passport, car registration, security detail, etc). Diplomats do not carry armed weapons, let alone have the capability to shoot to kill two bandits who may have been armed. It is just difficult to fathom a diplomat with the precision and courage to kill and that too in self-defense without being shot at.

    What discourages me is that the other car has yet to be taken into police custody and people identified, there were several witnesses that can describe model, make, color, etc. of the vehicle?!!! Someone has something to hide and is cooking up a story.

    The loonies in our government will sell the sovereignty laws of our country, the unfortunate outcome of this saga. This case will set a precedent and the authorities involved should trek carefully. Recommend

  • Khan
    Jan 29, 2011 - 9:29AM

    The American will never be punished. because Masters are not punished by slaves.Recommend

  • SA
    Jan 29, 2011 - 9:34AM

    This reminds me of the sialkot incident… the victims are later accused of crime to justify the killing. Earlier it was being reported that one of the victims was proceeding to court to attend the trial of his brother’s murder. I wonder why he would have this sudden surge to LOOT on his way to court. THIS is pakistan!!Recommend

  • Tariq Khan
    Jan 29, 2011 - 9:37AM

    I’m 200% sure he is black water suspect and has nothing to do with US consulate. He has used banned bullets in firing. Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2011 - 9:58AM

    general Kayani is wisely advising Mr. Malik to tread carefully. But let more things come out in the open until the full story unfolds. Will it? Salams for 2011.Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2011 - 10:23AM

    This insident is an accedent tookplace in selfdefacne. Extremist element of society is diverting it to senstivity it is more dengrus for law and order setuation in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Danish+S.
    Jan 29, 2011 - 11:45AM

    Those responsible (regardless of their nationality) should be brought to justice. And if proven guilty should be dealt with accordingly. Let the Law prevail in this country for once!Recommend

  • Asad Kharal
    Jan 29, 2011 - 1:06PM

    Davis was on secrete mission, visited Pakistan nine times since Oct 18, 2009
    A senior intelligence officer on condition of anonymity told that the incident in which Davis despite drive the car and only one hand he targeted the two motorcyclists but all the bullets hit specific target upper of the body and even not single bullet spoiled shows that Davis is employee of an army or civilian back ground agency and he also get a commando training……..!!!!!!!!!!!!!——-????????????????Recommend

  • wasif
    Jan 29, 2011 - 1:13PM

    wow.Recommend

  • jahan ara
    Jan 29, 2011 - 1:24PM

    The callousness of the West is evident from the silence of the US and British media about the gory event. In the case of any suicide attacks in Pakistan, they flash the news within a few hours. But this incident has remained unreported till today Saturday.
    However this is going to be a moment of truth for the Pakistani media, politicians, military and the civil society.
    Their reaction will reflect the extent to which US dollars have clouded their conscience.
    Cameron Munter’s visit to his counterpart to bully him into granting diplomatic immunity to an individual who was not a diplomat speaks volumes about America’s right to be intrusive because it cares. . Recommend

  • Ali Hassan
    Jan 29, 2011 - 1:25PM

    The Express Tribune has done Excellent reporting on the issue and real facts become on the surface .tribute Tribune team keep it up Recommend

  • Ascon
    Jan 29, 2011 - 1:27PM

    we will give him back in return of aasiaRecommend

  • Ascon
    Jan 29, 2011 - 1:29PM

    We will release him in return of Dr Aafia sidddiquiRecommend

  • Amanat Ali
    Jan 29, 2011 - 1:43PM

    So sad the incident. Americans are our masters and we are watching them and protecting them like a DOG. Where are these muslim maulvis who were praising the killer Qadri. Taseer was not a non-muslim then why maulvis declared Qadri a GHAZI. Now a non-muslim killed innocent Pakistanis these maulvis should finish the case, if they are true muslims. The Govt will not punish the american but only way of justice is to manage it out of court. This is the justice.Recommend

  • mir
    Jan 29, 2011 - 2:10PM

    @Khan:
    yeah agree..Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    Jan 29, 2011 - 2:55PM

    RIGHT! If this is a democratic state, this American should be tried. Even if the deceased were a bunch of crooks, they got the bullets in the back.

    Furthermore, we know how easy it is in Pakistan to mishandle evidence.Recommend

  • Max
    Jan 29, 2011 - 2:59PM

    I guess the American got puzzled at the situation so couldn’t control his senses and he opened fire. So, its his fault and now the story is being made.. If they ll keep sending such kinda crazy ppl to pakistan, these incidents gonna happen again n again. Anyway, the government should take a stand. After all he has killed two pakistanis. Imagine a situation where a Pakistani would have killed two Americans in USA. What ll happen to him??Recommend

  • rashid
    Jan 29, 2011 - 3:00PM

    As a matter of fact, media did go to their homes. seemed like normal, middle-class people. however, it can be concluded yet if they were robbers or just two responsible citizens trying to pull over Davis for injuring the women in the rickshaw.
    A lot of questions arise…Recommend

  • yar jan
    Jan 29, 2011 - 3:14PM

    why outside America, she disbelieve in human rights,and play unfair ,bloody…………………games?Recommend

  • naeem
    Jan 29, 2011 - 3:39PM

    @Hamid Khan:
    very goodRecommend

  • Kamran
    Jan 29, 2011 - 3:55PM

    General Kiyani’s involvement in this case is nothing but symbolic….technically it shouldn’t even be his concern….it’s an internal state matter…but I guess he wants to “use” this as an opportunity to remind Americans that they must trust Pakistan Army inside Pakistan :)Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2011 - 3:56PM

    Now,
    Its a big question mark on capability of our investigation agencies, how will they take on the investigation and prepare a proper case.Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2011 - 4:17PM

    Ladies and Gentlemen THIS is the Blackwater our tajzia-nigars have been crying and moaning about for four years; stupid, scared, and utterly, utterly incompetent.
    Laugh and scream about Blackwater all you want cause, This. Is. It.
    As Ali said, it may jus tbe that the two guys killed by Davis were intelligence people.
    Express Tribune, do your job and go interview their relatives.Recommend

  • Shameel
    Jan 29, 2011 - 5:42PM

    Raymond Davis is not a diplomat.

    According to the following ABC News link, Raymond Davis is a “security consultant”:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/lahore-shooting-raymond-davis-american-official-involved-shooting/story?id=12785027

    This is his company:
    http://hyperion-protective.com/index.htmlRecommend

  • tamoor
    Jan 29, 2011 - 9:51PM

    These 3 peoples are innocent.can u please define a meaning of self defence
    @ US Ambassdeor . i m confused about american self defence.both of people
    cannot fire a single bullet and pistol is also legal issued by interior minister.Recommend

  • Jan 29, 2011 - 11:41PM

    Geneva Convention ?? How about Guantanamo?? Recommend

  • Blithe
    Jan 29, 2011 - 11:48PM

    A private contractor inspired by one too many many Bogart movies (http://hyperion-protective.com/services.html).

    A diplomatic immunity for a private contractor??? Laugable!!! He is a rogue element who must be brought to book/ made accountable military conflict.Recommend

  • Kamran
    Jan 30, 2011 - 1:27AM

    I thought consequences would be easier to deal with if you have private contractors doing your dirty work…….sometimes it backfires eh? :)Recommend

  • Sunil
    Jan 30, 2011 - 3:20AM

    This situation is very interesting,US Rambo’s gone wild in a Pakistani metro in day traffic.He will go free because he is diplomat as per US embassy(whether he is having diplomatic passport or not,i don’t know).Even if he is a diplomat, still he is breaking Pakistani law by carrying an illegal arm even if it is meant for his self protection(Dilemma is even if he is diplomat, he is not supposed to carry a legal weapon,Geneva agreement doesn’t guarantee legal immunity to a diplomat who carries an illegal weapon).Also he is traveling in a non diplomatic vehicle also,why???Also question is about the missing Prado which hit an innocent commuter on bike.No body heard about that Prado again after that killing.
    So this shows Americans confidence on themselves and also on Pakistani system.
    I advise Pakistanis that run people run,Americans have come to Pakistan for fun shooting ,hitting and bombing .Americans are hunters ,Pakistanis are prey for them and Pakistan a lawless jungle.Recommend

  • Sher Afgun Khan
    Jan 30, 2011 - 11:50AM

    @jahan ara:
    Very aptly said, it is definitely a test for the Pakistani so called “Establishment”, media and civil society. But I feel ensuring the rights of every citizen is more of a responsibility of the esteemed Judiciary than the state actors mentioned by you. Correct me if I’m wrong.Recommend

  • Rehan
    Jan 31, 2011 - 12:22AM

    Where the shooting took place it is very busy place so some one has seen something. Therefore take statements from several people to find the truth. There are also street cameras present and footage is available if one wants to use it. It is said that bullets were fired from within the car and he also had camera, phone to call for backup – where have they gone now? It appears that Davis has more questions to answer – but sadly there will be no justice even if he is guilty – Only 3 have been killed in Lahore but hundreds die daily because of drone attacks – our leaders do not respect our lives…..Recommend

  • styre
    Jan 31, 2011 - 9:59AM

    Many of you how no common sense or understanding of self-defnese or the Geneva convention. You simply make up facts as you go. He is in the country on a diplomatic passport. He is being held illegally because he should be provided diplomatic immunity. Self defense does not require allowing the decoits to fire first. That would be suicide, not self-defense. You also do not have to allow the criminals to face you before you shoot. If they were chasing him, then suddenly pulled in front with guns drawn, it would be easy to see how he could shoot them in the back. The streets are infested with criminals, murderers, and terrorists, why wouldn’t an American want to be armed, and why wouldn’t the American flee after wards when you know a crazy emotional mob will form, just like the crazy, emotional mob on this comment board. Few of you are capable of rational thought as you are too busy being hate filled and intolerant towards the Americans.Recommend

  • Jan 31, 2011 - 3:24PM

    If this man has to be freed (which shouldn’t be), then we want Ms. Aafia Siddique in return.Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar
    Jan 31, 2011 - 3:49PM

    @styre….apart from the fact that your rant is symptomatic of the ‘pot-calling-the-kettle-black’ syndrome, mr r.davis (if that is his real name) is here on a multiple visit visa on a non-diplomatic passport – consequently he does not hold any diplomatic immunity under the Vienna conventions…Further, he was handling unlicensed illegal arms, shot two guys in the back multiple times and is a unspecified ‘technical adviser’ to the consulate….all very fishy and worthy of investigation. Let us see if the government, judiciary and military can stand up to undue and unfair ‘diplomatic’ pressure from uncle sam.Recommend

  • Farooq
    Jan 31, 2011 - 5:12PM

    @ Waqqas Iftikhar:

    No, he doesn’t hold any diplomatic immunity as he doesn’t hold a diplomatic passport. As far as the 2 truckers are concerned, about them saying their cell phones were looted, they are just BULLING!!! Must have been promised an American visa for saying that. But hey, who gives a *rap about the innocent?Recommend

  • rizwan
    Feb 1, 2011 - 12:25PM

    Davis was an undercover agent and two guys chasing him were Pakistani spies. David had something very important for US and Pak spies wanted it (might be because of its importance to Pakistani security or Pakistan just wanted to collect that information .. whatever). The scene starts with chasing down the cowboy but esclates as Davis get consious about spies’s movement. Either Davis tried to get away but on account of failure opened fire and killed two jasoos OR spies got what they wanted and on their return he shot them from behind. (dedduce yourself). Davis, after having got a very clear idea that he wont make it to US consulate or safehouse called his buddies to atleast take away something very important wither to US or to Pakistan. Importance of that thing is worth killing or running over another innocent man. (again deduce. it could have been a list of American Taliban exploding suicide bombs in Pakistan or ….). Rest is obvious to the world.Recommend

  • Mohammad Atif Ismail
    Feb 1, 2011 - 3:59PM

    I request Pakistani govt to depute commando-like persons in foreign office as we saw military skills of a socalled
    diplomat acting like commando. I think it is eye opener incident. The assumpation that Black Water is operating in Pakistan has come true after the incident.. Our politicians are keeping mum over the issue. I Request whole nation to unit as it is high time to punish USA.Recommend

  • Mohammad Atif Ismail
    Feb 1, 2011 - 4:06PM

    Taliban’s diplomat Mulla Abdul Zaeef was ambassador to Pakistan. Where was Geneva Accord. He was arrested and put behind the bar. Sham on Socalled Geneva Accord. Sham on USA.Recommend

  • Nader Junaid
    Feb 9, 2011 - 8:17AM

    @Khan:
    Dear Mr. Khan, Nuclear stockpiles do not give Sovereignity to a nation. To be Sovereign, a nation has to be able to rule itself starting with its own selfish instincts, respact each others’ rights and be ready to pay the dues of today and be willing to sacrifices for the next generations. You cant beat up the USA for doing what it has to do to stay on top, whereas the average Pakistani has to learn the meanings of what Mr. John F. Kennedy said to its fellow americans “Ask not what your country can do for you, Ask what you can for your country”. AAmin. Recommend

  • she
    Feb 9, 2011 - 6:28PM

    just hope that justice prevails…and truth shall come out..Recommend

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