Pakistan rejects US demand for Davis’s release

Published: January 31, 2011
Pakistani police escort arrested US national Raymond Davis (C) to a court in Lahore. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Pakistani police escort arrested US national Raymond Davis (C) to a court in Lahore. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Amid calls from the United States for the release of its ‘diplomatic official’ Raymond Davis, Pakistan has made it clear that he will not be handed over to Washington because the matter is being probed by a court of law.

The US embassy has claimed diplomatic immunity for Davis, who is under investigation on double murder charges after allegedly killing two young motorcyclists on Thursday. A third man was crushed to death by a US consulate car that went to help Davis following the shooting. Abdul Basit, the spokesperson for the Foreign Office, told The Express Tribune that the matter was sub judice in a court of law and the legal process should be respected.

Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar also made a similar statement. “Investigations are ongoing and the legal process will have to be respected,” he told the media on Sunday.

However, Babar quashed the impression that the government was under pressure from the US. “It is wrong to say that the government has already decided to send Davis to the US,” he said.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also broke his silence on the issue on Sunday. “The federal government is not silent over this matter. This matter  is in the court,” Gilani told reporters in a live televised press conference from Multan.

“The Punjab government is conducting an inquiry into this matter and I would not comment till it is completed,” he added.

Punjab’s deputy prosecutor-general, meanwhile, claimed that they have sufficient evidence indicating that Davis didn’t have a diplomatic status at the time of his arrest.

Rana Bakhtiar told The Express Tribune that it was not a case of ‘self-defence’ because Davis had shot the motorcyclists in the back. He added that Davis was not entitled to diplomatic immunity because he was holding a business visa.

Investigators also endorsed this view. They said no shot was fired from the guns recovered on the bodies of the dead motorcyclists – Faizan and Faheem. This shows Davis had not fired gunshots in ‘self-defence’.

According to the rules, every diplomat is issued a card while entering a host country and then he is listed with the protocol section that is called P2.

But official sources said Davis was not listed with the Foreign Office as a diplomat. And that a three-day delay from the US embassy in establishing Davis as a diplomat complicated the case. They added that Davis would have to face charges against him.

A former top bureaucrat said that only diplomats enjoy immunity, but that too is not blanket immunity. “It depends on the situation. A diplomat is granted immunity when he commits a crime while on official duty,” the former foreign secretary told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.

Quoting Article 49(2) of the Vienna Convention, international law expert Ahmer Bilal Sufi said that immunity is granted to only those people in possession of diplomatic visa. Davis had neither diplomatic visa nor was he on official duty.

Nonetheless, the US embassy insists that David is a member of its embassy’s ‘technical and administrative staff’.

The US embassy said in a statement that “Article 37 of the (Vienna) Convention specifically extends the same criminal immunity that diplomats have to members of the technical and administrative staff of an embassy.”

Since Davis is entitled to full criminal immunity, he cannot be lawfully arrested or detained in accordance with the convention, the statement said.

The Western media, however, revealed that Davis was associated with a security contractor from a Florida-based firm, Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC. The reports did not specify the nature of the mission he was working on in Pakistan.

Additional reporting by Rana Tanveer in Lahore

Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st,  2011.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • Sumaan
    Jan 31, 2011 - 8:15AM

    Another sad news item for the so called moderates of Pakistan, I guess.Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 31, 2011 - 8:53AM

    Davis seems to be an undercover US Special Agent. The Police should probe from Davis as what he was upto? It is also possible that if Police or other law enforcements agencies will further investigate the matter, it may be revealed that Davis might be involved in number of terrorist activities that took place during the last few months in Lahore. Davis cannot return to US until Dr. Afia Siddiqui will reach Karachi safely. First US should hand over Dr. Afia Sidiqui to Pakistan and than ask for the release of Davis.Recommend

  • Nasir Jamal
    Jan 31, 2011 - 9:01AM

    He will eventually be handed over to the US. Pakistan and its leadership lacks the moral courage to say No to the Americans.Recommend

  • Awais
    Jan 31, 2011 - 9:27AM

    This is something very clear now.. They guy is not a diplomat.. they delay in the response of US officials to claim diplomatic immunity clearly states that something had been cooking.. The Punjab Govt should handle this matter with extra care because it can lead to mass distress and riots. Raymond Davis appears to be working for something like XE or some other intelligence agency, no matter who did he work for id he has no diplomatic immunity he should be dealt with under the constitution of Pakistan, and since the Vienna convention too does not give complete immunity to the diplomatic staff so in no way should him be handed over to the US authorities.
    Something that seems apparent is that many politicians will try to shine there reputation over this matter but whatever the case may be the ultimate consequences should really be just and in the total interest of the People of Pakistan, this should be a shun call to any other future possibilities of this kind. We are Pakistanis and Muslims and we stand side by side to our innocent brothers and sisters that become victims of such atrocities. And we will hit the streets if the case will not be dealt impartially. Recommend

  • styre
    Jan 31, 2011 - 9:39AM

    He clearly has diplomatic immunity for criminal offenses. His detention and interrogation is completely unlawful according to the Vienna Convention (see below). A person does not have to be shot at first to use a weapon in self defense, nor are they required to shoot someone in the front during a dynamic situation. I find your knowledge of the law and use of force appalling. Could you not find a single expert in use of force? Try these people: He will obviously not get a fair shake in Pakistan as it is an accepeted practice to murder people in the street who you disagree with regardless of the facts. Over 100,000 people have marched in support of Taseer’s assassin. (Karachi plus Lahore) Your country simply cannot be trusted to even begin to act in a reasonable or lawful manner. Your media seems to only fuel the lack of logic and reason.

    Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations: Article 37

    Members of the administrative and technical staff of the mission… enjoy the privileges and immunities specified in Articles 29 to 35, except that the immunity from civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving State specified in paragraph 1 of Article 31 shall not extend to acts performed outside the course of their duties.

    I see no mention of a diplomatic visa except for passing through a third party state. This is mentioned in article 40.Recommend

  • Fahad Zafar
    Jan 31, 2011 - 10:15AM

    It sounds funny when the Prime Minister says the case is in the courts and he would not comment on it. Recommend

  • Jan 31, 2011 - 10:15AM

    The case of USA not allowing a diplomatic immunity to georgian Diplomat (Accident involves Car accident only) … we should be doing same …. and in this cas the Arrested american national is not at all Diplomat …. so his Diplomatic Immunity is out of Question… Recommend

  • SK
    Jan 31, 2011 - 11:14AM

    Here we have a person who is actual killer and is being supported by US to be released and on the other hand we have innocent Aafia Siddiqi who has been framed right and left just to hide criminal facts from the world and our govt. doesn’t have guts to ask for her release.
    Is this not the time that we as a nation demand our govt to get Aafia released if US wants David?Recommend

  • Jawad+Iqbal+Jawad
    Jan 31, 2011 - 11:25AM

    It makes the matter more complex if the killer was on trade visa and was not enlisted as a diplomat, though he was from American consulate. All facts must come on surface and he ust be punished according to law without being pressurized by US. Recommend

  • Saqib
    Jan 31, 2011 - 12:12PM


  • ALI
    Jan 31, 2011 - 12:39PM

    After the profound protests on the streets of Cairo and Tunisia our Govt. officials are hell scared to impress their foreign masters. I salute the courage of Tunisian and Egyptian people for this spill over benefit in Pakistan :D Recommend

  • parvez
    Jan 31, 2011 - 1:27PM

    The U.S is intelligent and practical they have to save one of their own. How this is done will depend largely on how we behave because they will do what it takes and sadly we are known for our lack of rectitude.Recommend

  • anis kazi
    Jan 31, 2011 - 1:59PM

    lets hover over this issue till we find a new one.Recommend

  • N M Chaudhry
    Jan 31, 2011 - 2:01PM

    I think they are involved in the destruction of Pakistan. Pakistani government should not hand over them to usa.

    usa is responsible for the destruction in the world.

    There was peace in Afghanistan and Iraq before the so called war of terrorism.

    There is no doubt that usa is the number one terrorist.Recommend

  • Jan 31, 2011 - 2:14PM

    this has to be resolved according to the law,and law should not be broken.
    its as simple as abc.
    abide by law and justice..(qasas)
    dont feel pressure.
    if justice has not been given a chance,same situation pakistan will face again and again.
    so nip the evil in the bud.Recommend

  • Jan 31, 2011 - 2:18PM

    dr aafia did not kill anyone yet she has been tortured and given imprisonment.
    this american should be handled according to his crime.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Jan 31, 2011 - 2:28PM

    He only has immunity in civil cases and not in criminal offenses. To tell you more, what do you say about Dr. Affia Siddiqui. For what good reason they have punished her for life????
    We have our own judicial system which is strong enough to decide between right and wrong. We are not getting any dictation from anyone this time. And how can you justify this to those families who have lost their loved ones???
    He should be punished and will be punished here as per our laws. Our country laws are far better than yours. Under what law have you people detained prisoners in Guantanamo???
    If you kill someone then its not justifiable art all. And if you say its self-defense then he should have shot them somewhere else and not in head and chest.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 31, 2011 - 2:54PM

    So wait a second! This guy can come from USA and kill anyone he wants in Pakistan and get away with it?

    Can you imagine the anger that will create! He should be punished according to Pakistani law!Recommend

  • Aasia Sohail Mian
    Jan 31, 2011 - 2:58PM

    Give us Aafia at the cost of two innocent victims and take him back . If not then he should not be released and treated under the law pertaining in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Marvi
    Jan 31, 2011 - 3:07PM

    Davis seems to be an undercover US Special Agent….!!!Recommend

  • Awais
    Jan 31, 2011 - 3:33PM

    this is totally ridiculous the way you are pointing out at the social distress in our country to justify the murder of civilians by Davis, has he been a diplomat he would have been claimed right after the incident, instead the US officials waited for 3 days before they came to know they had some guy in Pakistan’s custody and that he was working at the US Embassy. Secondly, my dear this is totally rude to say that a country’s law enforcing system can not be trusted. Davis should be dealt with under the constitution of Pakistan because he was not in the country on an official duty as clearly explained by his business visa. Secondly, there has never been a case of robbing tourists in our history as such. So if you step inside my shoes it is absolutely impossible to believe that some Pakistani can mug a foreigner.
    Vienna convention is just a pile of crap anyway.. what about the diplomats prosecuted by the US under their own constitution.. I have a few examples at hand if u want me to quote.. The reality is Davis is not innocent until proved so by his attorney’s in the court of law. Whether you believe it or not. Recommend

  • Shoaib Pervaiz
    Jan 31, 2011 - 3:47PM

    What angers me the most when i searched for articles related to this incident on the internet..that the US media is so biased and that in none of the US newspapers, was it written anywhere that this american also killed a third person while trying to flee from the incident. Why was he fleeing then?. Every article read..’american kills two ‘armed robbers’ in ‘self defence’. That is what the western media does. And the american people, im sorry to say are the most naive in the world because they just accept each and everything that CNN or FOX tells them. Anyway, they couldnt care less for what happens around the world.
    Has anyone ever noticed how the news where an american drone kills innocent..actually innocent..people in the areas near the Afghan borden is never in their news..and is brushed under the carpet…and when 1 american is killed..the news reads “terrorists claim the life of american soldier in Pakistan…alqaeda etc claim responsibility’.
    The hypocrisy of american people has no limits. If somebody is bombing your homes, killed your children and women, ofcourse you would retaliate with whatever youve got. And their media uses this retaliation to their advantage by telling everyone that the terrorists are killing their people. Recommend

  • HA
    Jan 31, 2011 - 3:47PM

    PPP Govt. maintains the matter is subject to court proceedings however has carefully pushed the issue towards Punjab Govt. They have maintained (even Mr. Gillani) that it is being investigated by ”Punjab Govt” in all statements (and not by ”Police/investigative authorities” in Punjab.)

    The same irked the US ambassador to contact Nawaz sharif on the matter directly and not the Govt.Smart Politics!Recommend

  • SA
    Jan 31, 2011 - 3:50PM

    Faisal, spot on!Recommend

  • Shoaib Pervaiz
    Jan 31, 2011 - 3:52PM

    @ styre: Even if he IS a diplomat, what difference does that make. Is it okay for US diplomats to kill people in other countries and come back home and sip coffee? He is not a diplomat clearly, because if he was, it would have been proven by now. He was on a business VISA and was not on official duty of any kind while this incident occured. He should be punished for what he did.
    And your beloved Vienna Convention which was made by your people for your people to enjoy killing other people in other countries and get away with it while blaming the other country also states that he is exempt from the chargs IF the person is on official duty, and he was NOT on official duty. So please go ahead and amend your conventions so that it would be easier for you americans to justify your crimes as self-defence..anti-terrorism..and ‘for the sake of democracy’.
    If this were the US and a Pakistani had done this, that person would have been in guantanamo bay by now getting tortured. Recommend

  • Wellwisher
    Jan 31, 2011 - 4:37PM

    well, no one should be above law. If Aafia can be framed why shouldn’t as appears a real criminal should be brought to justice.
    As the police is saying,
    1) he shot them in the back
    2) no rounds/bullets were fired from the riders
    3) didn’t have the diplomatic immunity
    so it’s clearly a case against him and it should be dealt on merit.Recommend

  • shahzad akhtar
    Jan 31, 2011 - 4:42PM

    why this becomes a riduculous act when you know Americans tried Georgian diplomat when even the offense was a considerably less sever nature
    secondly how the hell you come to this genious conclusion that he should be set free when the post mortem reports of the victims have shown it that they were fired from teh back?Recommend

  • Jan 31, 2011 - 5:10PM

    If Pakistan is rejecting his immunity then it is a good news as we always fear our governments’ biasness towards uncle Sam. And Pakistani intelligence won’t let him go until they make Davis reveal everything about his mission and organization/s works for. I believe our agencies behave sensibly in such extremely threatening and critical matters.
    Please have your say at, ;I am a responsible and civilized citizen of Pakistan ( (Moderator, please don’t omit this :-)).Recommend

  • maitre
    Feb 1, 2011 - 3:41PM

    Amunities or not; be he (she) diplomat or not, a crime is a crime and it should be dealt in the court. What is Viena convention and who legislatured it? Be sensible! He is ‘blackwater agent’ with many ‘terrorist attempts under his belt. He should be tried and punished according to thge law. AS for Dr. Aafia Sidiquee, there isn’t any possibility of her release neither can she be bargained with Raymond davis. His name sounds to me that of Jew. Take further remand and you will know more about his undercover acitivities. why the Americans think they are above law? Because they give aid. LOL.Recommend

  • moise
    Feb 2, 2011 - 9:57AM

    Hand him to ISI.Recommend

  • sara
    Feb 2, 2011 - 5:45PM

    i dont know how long this play would go…we all know the ending but still we are debating over a fixed match.Recommend

  • MuRti.!!
    Feb 2, 2011 - 7:29PM

    Styre It shows the truth of your nation !!! he is a terrorist!!Recommend

  • Aamir+Ali
    Feb 2, 2011 - 8:05PM

    Looks like Pakistanis want to punish Mr Davis in response to their inferiority complex from America.Recommend

  • Barbarian
    Feb 2, 2011 - 8:59PM

    @styre: Hey Styre! My response is something i have learned from the USA:
    If you don’t agree with the way our country practices it’s law then don’t come here. :D
    Have a good day, can’t say anything more to you because it would be censored :)
    P.S Thanks for waving the Vienna convention in our faces, Mind if i wave Geneva, Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Abu-Gharib, Drone bombings in Northern Pakistan in yours? Recommend

  • Tahir
    Feb 3, 2011 - 4:48AM

    Does any one remember few years back when USA asked Pakistan Govt to remove Diplomatic Immunity for his Diplomat Akram because he slaped his wife when he was drunk.And very recently UK asked India to remove Diplomatic Immunity when their diplomat was reported to police for similar kind of incident and India called him back.This is a matter of 3 human beings been killed.Recommend

  • Saqib Javed Farooqi
    Feb 3, 2011 - 9:42AM

    Even if Davis is a diplomat, just assume then he shall not be above the law. Moreover, the punishment of Robbery is not the death in any law of the world. Davis shoot and killed the people so he shall be punished here in Pakistan. There are many countries, not following the international conventions including US. Pakistan shall take a firm stand on it.Recommend

  • Raj
    Feb 3, 2011 - 11:19AM

    Nothing is going to happen to this guy because Pakistan needs dollars from the US. Pakistan’s ruling elite does not care about Aam Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Steven
    Feb 5, 2011 - 10:51PM

    Well its obvious by the many responses that i was absolutely correct about the bigotry and lack of logic of the posters here. I can’t possibly address all of the ridiculous statements, but i will hit on a few.
    Aafia- was a terrorist who tried to murder someone. She was not in the u.s. With a diplomatic passport, like Mr. Davis was (on this many of you are obviously wrong). She had numerous terrorist ties and was given a fair trial. Honestly she probably should have been sent to Guantanamo, but the US is till trying to figure out what to do with terrorists. You call her a daughter of Pakistan, which is about right, because she is an insane, violent, extremist.

    The Geneva conventions were signed by Pakistan, so it is your law that he must be released. I provided the applicable information which calls for criminal immunity. But that would be a fact, something not likely to come up in anyone’s posts. This can only be waived by the US, according to the convention which is part of your law.

    Most facts indicate it was self-defense. Reports indicate the men were armed, had previously robbed someone else, and were witnessed chasing Mr. Davis. If a Pakistani shot two robbers in the US, we would thank them. The tied party was not killed by Mr. Davis although many people here still insist on it. Also, someone claimed he only had pictures of shrines on his camera. Please provide a source of this obviously false information.

    Mr. Davis can never get a fair trial. It is obvious from all of the false information being presented without sources, and all of The bigotry and hatred and even complete manufacturing of facts. Please someone dispute what i have said with facts and references other than false beliefs.Recommend

  • karachiite
    Feb 8, 2011 - 5:48PM

    @Steven: rest assured Davis’s trial will be as fair as your country gave to Aafia, I wont comment on the fact surrounding the charges as they were ridiculous neither would I comment on the fact that proceedings were prejudiced claims of her ALLEGEDLY being a terrorist before conviction. Now she got 86 years for attempted murder, accepted. The fact surrounding Davis’s case are the same for every man claiming they were robbers there are two suggesting otherwise, since you weren’t there to see what happened you can hardly say he is innocent (its his words against the witness’s) since the facts are muddled it is only fair that the matter be dealt with by the law If attempted murder carries 86 years it is only fair that Davis should be hung if convicted.

    and PLEASE your country should be the last one on earth giving ANYONE lectures about international law and Geneva convention go and find the legality of invading a sovereign country over lies, Analyse genocides of children and civilians in the countless wars your country have waged (conventionally and covertly) and humiliation of POW in Abu Garaib in lights of Geneva convention and then teach us about it.If you can for go it based on necessity then please dont expect us to treat it like word of God, and while you are at it go search the self defence cases and find a case for a man who was never shot at, shooting two people in the back and taking their photos going scot free you will be amazed to find that the rest of the world has a different standard on proving self defence as compared to your wild west.Recommend

  • styre
    Feb 9, 2011 - 5:26AM

    It is not his word against others.

    For one, the fact that any Pakistani would state he was firing in self-defense is amazing, and there are several police investigators that have said it was most likely self-defense.

    The men were found and seen with weapons. Witnesses saw them pursuing Davis.

    The men were reported to have robbed others and had their cell phones in their possession.

    What his family members say has almost zero weight as they are obviously biased.

    Aafia was a nut job terrorist. Even her attorney tried to use an insanity defense. She was not a diplomat, I don’t believe she was in the country legally, and she made no claim of self-defense as she was already detained. She was given a fair trial. There are no comparisons and attempting to link her to the Davis incident is a further example of the bigotry and bias in Pakistan.

    You ask for a self-defense example that as so specific as to be stupid, but I think you can find plenty of bad guys who are shot in the back and plenty of people not waiting to be shot before shooting first. If the standards for self-defense in the US are different than another countries, then it is only because ours is based on reasonable belief. Reason is obviously dead for people like you.

    Soldiers involved in Abu Gharib were tried and punished for the whole world to see. It was a crime and the soldiers were treated fairly and found guilty.

    This is the last time I am going to educate bigots about self-defense. You do not have to wait to be shot at first and you do not have to only shoot people in the front, especially if they pull guns then drive in front of your car to stop you. That would mean their backs would be to you. So biased it is hard to believe.

    Could you tell me where this genocide of children is taking place? You are crazy. Where is the systematic slaughter on the scale of 6 million jews or 10 million russians or even 40 million chinese taking place?

    Thank you for proving all of my original assertions correct.Recommend

    Feb 9, 2011 - 1:56PM

    dear innocent friend wakeup or its to late,i dont wana argu with you ,, try read more and more abut other culture,religion etc ,,plz change ur TV channels..Recommend

  • Rashid
    Feb 10, 2011 - 12:17AM

    @styre, just read this article.

    It is very much relevent to what is being claimed here. People like you are totally blind in you thinking. However I DO agree with some of your statements. But there is SERIOUSLY worng with US foreign policies and US State departments arrogance in dealing with Pakistan. Pakistani people do not need US aid and they all know that this Aid money only goes to corrupt politicians and useless Army. Average Pakistani remains to be poor. So take your aid and shove it where sun does not shine.Recommend

  • Bob
    Mar 6, 2011 - 8:20PM

    Diplomatic Immunity should not exist. Hey this man was training Terrorists and the Pakistani Intelligence were onto him. That’s why he murdered them. Whose side are our Governments on anyway? Not ours it seems.Recommend

  • Joseph Brandon
    Mar 16, 2011 - 7:36PM

    Good news, people! The inevitable has just happened.Recommend

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