The government on Saturday said the legal process should be respected after the US embassy called for the immediate release of an American diplomat who was arrested after he killed two Pakistanis this week.
The American, identified by police as Raymond Davis, told a court on Friday he had acted in self-defence after fleeing what he said was a robbery attempt in Lahore on Thursday.
Davis has been remanded in police custody for six days for questioning.
“This matter is sub judice in a court of law and the legal process should be respected,” a Pakistani foreign office spokesman said in a statement.
The US embassy said in a statement on Friday only that a staff member of the US Consulate General in Lahore was involved in an incident involving “loss of life”.
In a statement on Saturday, the embassy identified him as a US diplomat who it said had been unlawfully detained by authorities in Lahore, where the shooting took place.
It said the diplomat acted in self-defence when confronted by two armed men and had every reason to believe they meant to harm him, and said arresting the diplomat was a violation of international norms and the Vienna Convention.
In his initial statement, Davis told police that he was chased by the two men soon after he withdrew money from a cash machine. The men approached him when he pulled over at a traffic signal and they pointed a gun at him.
Davis then fired at the men, a police official said.
On Friday, the US Ambassador Cameron Munter reportedly met Foreign Secretary Salman Basheer, requesting the federal government’s intervention in the case of the US official.
Speaking to the media yesterday (Friday), Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had said that Davis will not be given VIP protocol and will be sent to jail after interrogation. He said that no one was above the law and that the Punjab government was taking action under its legislation.