LAHORE: The brother of one of the three men, two of whom were killed by US citizen Raymond Davis and the third crushed by a car driven by his colleagues, on Thursday said that the family had been offered Green Cards and money for withdrawing the case.
Waseem, brother of Muhammad Faheem who was gunned down by Davis told the participants of a protest rally that the family did not want cash or any ‘rewards’. “We will not accept anything like that. I am ready to give money to the Americans if they hand over Davis,” he said.
Dr Fozia Siddiqi, sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqi, also addressed the protesters via telephone. She expressed her solidarity with the bereaved families and asked that the entire nation to support them.
A group of about 500 people including students, lawyers, doctors, and civil society members walked from Qartaba Chowk (where the incident had occurred) to the US Consulate. Once the protesters reached the Consulate they staged a sit-in and shouted slogans demanding a trial of the accused in the country. They demanded the Pakistani government not to hand over Davis to the US government, while asking that he be hanged “for causing the death of three innocent citizens”.
Bothers of the other two victims, Rasheed Haider, brother of Faizan Haider and Muhammad Sajjadul Rehman, brother of Ibadul Rehman also addressed the participants of the rally. Sajjadul Rehman said that it was time to speak up against atrocities committed by the US.
He alleged that Davis had told investigators about his accomplices, “but the police have not made any arrests.” In a charged speech, he asked the US to let the Pakistani courts hold Davis’ trial. “Prove that you are the champion of human rights that you claim to be,” Rehman said while addressing the US.
Rasheed Haider requested the people to continue supporting them in their cause.
They said that they did not have any hopes from the government but were confident that the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) would ensure that justice is served.
All speakers, including family members of the deceased, also demanded CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take suo motu notice to ensure that the government does not “favour” the accused American. The protesters condemned the judicial magistrate’s court for granting bail to Davis for carrying illegal weapons.
The rally was led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Lahore president, Mian Mahmoodul Rasheed.
Starting from Qartaba Chowk, the protesters reached the US Consulate after passing through Queen’s Road, The Mall, Race Course Road and Egerton Road. The participants shouted anti-US slogans through loud speakers installed on a mini truck. Announcements were also made to inviting passers-by to joint the rally, which were somewhat successful.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2011.