Resolution of Davis’ case needs time, US told

Published: February 5, 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/LAHORE: Caught between snowballing domestic resistance and intense US pressure, the government has conveyed to Washington that it will need time to decide the case of the US consulate employee who killed two Pakistanis in Lahore last week.

The government, which has yet to take a firm stance on the status of Raymond Davis and whether he enjoys diplomatic immunity, has informed the US about domestic compulsions as well as public backlash to any move on its part to facilitate for the release of the American national, a Foreign Office official told The Express Tribune.

Washington on Thursday stepped up pressure on Pakistan, calling for the immediate release of Davis. It called upon the government to abide by its obligations under international and Pakistani law and immediately release the American diplomat who is “illegally detained in Lahore.”

“The US government has repeatedly communicated to the Government of Pakistan that the illegally detained diplomat enjoys diplomatic immunities under the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations (1961),” said a statement issued by the US Embassy.

In a meeting with Prime Minister Gilani on Friday, a bipartisan US Congressional delegation protested the continued detention of the American “diplomat” in Lahore. US Representatives Buck McKeon (Republican, California), John Kline (Republican, Minnesota), and Silvestre Reyes (Democrat, Texas) called on Islamabad to abide by its obligation under international and Pakistani law to recognize his diplomatic immunity, and immediately release him.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the foreign office official disclosed that the authorities, who were tasked to handle the issue, were likely to conclude that the detained American citizen indeed enjoys diplomatic immunity.

“The final decision will be taken by the government … it has now become more of a political issue than diplomatic,” said the official, who is privy to the development. “The foreign office has almost done its homework on how to deal with the issue,” the official added. He would not share further details.

However, some official sources claim both Islamabad and Washington were aware of the implications of the matter if all the details were made public.

“He (Davis) will eventually be brought back to the US but how and when will be decided keeping in view the mood of the Pakistani public,” said another Pakistani official, who is posted in Washington. The killing of the Pakistanis at the hands of the American triggered protests in major cities including Lahore, with the protestors demanding the government not to bow to US pressure and release Davis.

The Lahore High Court also stopped the authorities from any move to extradite and release the man behind the Lahore shooting incident. The government, on the other hand, publically urged the US to respect and wait the court verdict.

President Asif Zardari told the party’s Central Executive Committee meeting on Friday that the government had taken a principled position, saying the matter was before the judiciary and that the verdict should be awaited and respected.

However, sources say that such statements are meant for ‘public consumption’ as the government is likely to inform the court but ‘at an appropriate time’ about the international obligations on the controversy.

“We understand Pakistan government’s position and the domestic pressure it has to confront with…but we want this issue to be resolved sooner than later,” said a US diplomat, who requested not to be named.

Meanwhile, according to an initial investigation report, there is no evidence that Davis killed the two men in self-defence. The police, in its report prepared by a joint investigation team under the chairmanship of the CCPO and submitted to the Punjab government, said that the deceased did commit any such offence which put Davis under threat of his life from them. The report added that although the two Pakistan men were carrying a pistol, it could not be proved that they had used it against Davis.

The report also states that the accused had been giving fickle statements as earlier he said that he shot at the men upon seeing that they were carrying a pistol, whereas later he stated that they pointed the pistol at him with the intention of killing him, the police sources said.

The sources said that in the report they also told the government that the accused was not cooperating with the interrogators, making hard to ascertain why he was in the area where incident took place.

The report further states that the accused must know about his colleague(s) who arrived at the spot in a Land Cruiser and fled after crushing another motorcyclist to death. However, the report said that the accused refused to give any information regarding his aides.

On the other hand, an application was filed on Thursday before the court of an Additional District and Sessions Judge challenging the bail granted to Davis in the illegal weapons case. The petitioner, Asif Ali, submitted that the police was giving undue favour to the accused in all manners and urged the court to revert the bail.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 5, 2011 - 10:11AM

    Since Taliban is not cooperating with the Police as what he was up to in Lahore, although he was neither on diplomatic mission, nor he was driving a car bearing diplomatic number plate, the time has come that Police should use its conventional methods of facts finding to dig the truth.

    At the first instance, Raymond Davis should be grilled by the Police as has been the practice when murderers are arrested. If Raymond does not speak the truth, then he deserves to get a good Chitrol and lastly a Cheera.

    Government of Pakistan must dig out from Raymond Davis as who is his employer; obtain a copy of his contract from US Consulate General in Lahore which describes his duties.

    It is a clear fact that Raymond Davis is a Special Agent of one of the US intelligence agencies and doing his home work, most probably to target the Madersah,s in Lahore that may have been blown in due course of time.

    There is also a possibility that US Special Forces may conduct a ‘Commando Action’ at the place where Raymond Davis at the moment is place under detention to get him free and will be taken out from the country by a special chartered aircraft which may be waiting for him at the closest airbase from the place of his detention. Recommend

  • F Robinson
    Feb 5, 2011 - 10:57AM

    He is a US diplomat with diplomatic immunity,This is like new Pakistani fake WikiLeaks,Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Feb 5, 2011 - 11:24AM

    How wonderful. Pakistani Govt. trying to save the American national. We need to learn from people of Egypt and Tunisia.Recommend

  • F Robinson
    Feb 5, 2011 - 2:00PM

    Hats off to you for publishing my pro US comments which are critical of Pakistan.I believe Davis is a US diplomat with diplomatic immunity. It is sad two people are dead. It is nice to see free press in Pakistan -Express Tribune is a leading example!Recommend

  • Justice4all
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:33AM

    Robinson. Pakistan is a free and a democratic country albeit with its flaws. There are 2 people dead as well as another who was run over by a US consulate vehicle as it came to the rescue of Davis. Look at it this way: how would Washington respond if a Pakistani “diplomat” shot 2 people in DC and ran over another while trying to get back to the embassy. Secondly, there is real concern about the nature of Mr Davis’s duties and whether he is a diplomat to start with. Recommend

  • Gasherbrummistani
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:45AM

    We also have McDonalds in Pakistan, Mr/Mrs F Robinson. Would you like fries with that free press?Recommend

  • Feb 6, 2011 - 5:58AM

    its very clear that these two guys were just muggers they saw a white man thinking a TOURIST east money but they did not realise it that they had bitten more than they could chew.

    if these two muggers were decent people what were they were doing with guns?and why were they close to Ramond davis,s car.

    there is also information these guys were petty criminals and they have criminal records.

    Mr Davis has diplomatic immunity and there is nothing our government can do about that they should release the American and investigate correctly why these guys had guns on them???

    it is about time we used some common sense we have to live in this world.

    we are beggars and live off us charity Recommend

  • Anwar Ketan
    Feb 6, 2011 - 11:46AM

    Hi mate I think Davis was carry out all his official duties but he may took advantage under diplomat privilege but being a terrorist. The question is only that was killing a human by a diplomat is a diplomatic or duplimative duty? A shame for those who insisting that Davis is an innocent diplomate. Ha hahahahaaaaaaaaaa. Wait for court’s verdict. Anyway all the best and good luck all the world’s bigot and empowered.Recommend

  • Anwar Ketan
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:00PM

    For instace see “Swarna v Al-Awadi” where human trafficing is out of diplomatic immunity. Therefore, how can anyone dare to say that a murderer has a privilege under diplomatic immunity. Make a very very powerful sound so in future no one could take advantage of this diplomat immunity under Viana Convention 1961. Because we all are living under the threat of terrorism. Urge empowers that change the international law on diplomat immunity today (ASAP) not tomorrow please.Recommend

  • Anwar Ketan
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:09PM

    A new Obam & LadinRecommend

  • Indian Dude
    Feb 8, 2011 - 6:51AM

    Pak blogs and internet users as well as many of them in the US are well informed and matured as I have found out. However, mr. Davis is not dealing with the level headed internet users, it was foolish of him to venture out driving on his own.I can say with certainty that he would NOT be shooting any 2 innocent by-passers(will any sane man do this in a crowded area in a foreign country) . I have no doubt in my mind these 2 were armed bandits who roam in plenty in that banana republic. It is unfortunate the 3rd bystander was killed, however, the US govt should be relentless as pak govt. is violating the conventions and there will be no justice served in fanatic pak courts(unlike how the dreaded mumbai terrorist Ajmal Kasab is getting his due process in court)Recommend

  • Feb 9, 2011 - 11:22AM

    @F Robinson: Yes, you are right. Raymond is a diplomat with diplomat immunity and he was performing his legitimate duties in a private car, with lots of spying gadgets, cash in Rupees and dollars, a number of credit cards, and most of all an unlicensed and banned weapon with magazines of extended capacity! And Hyperion Protective Consultants? That might be run by some other Raymond Davis!Recommend

  • Hobbs
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:51PM

    we believes in “due process clause”If Pakistani Judiciary,after a clear trail,finds him guilty!it will be more ideal to execute Davis,out side the territories of our great soil. Recommend

  • rajesh gindwani
    Feb 14, 2011 - 3:38PM

    a headline in reuters says it all “Pakistan govt…worries…diplomat case will hurt aid”This headline itself shows where Pakistan govt interest really lie,not on its people but money.US is aware of this and uses this fact to its maximum advantage.The Chinese and Taliban must be watching this case with great interest,as the money Pakistan gets from US is used to buy weapons from China and then gifted to the Talibans.Recommend

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