Raymond Davis case: Bitter truths

Published: February 15, 2011
The writer is consulting editor, 
The Friday Times

The writer is consulting editor, The Friday Times

The case of Raymond Davis is getting intensely intriguing. Sad that a legal issue has assumed mammoth political significance. It is now a battle between Pakistan’s elected and unelected institutions. Facts have been lost in the rhetoric and fiction prevails, regurgitating the narratives that we have weaved about ourselves and the rest of the world. Hate the US and blame it for all our weaknesses, even if it entails violating our international obligations.

It is time to ask how an operative can be in Pakistan for almost three years without clarity about his status. If there were doubts about Davis, why didn’t our brave security agencies express these concerns before he killed someone? Why was he not declared persona non grata for the ‘nefarious’ activities he is now being accused of? If he did not enjoy diplomatic status, why didn’t the Foreign Office say so on day one? Why the deliberate ambiguity, fuelled by an orchestrated media frenzy?

This saga illustrates typical Pakistani emotionalism. If the sending state declares someone a diplomat and the receiving state accepts him, that’s the end of the matter. Those who rant that Davis’ visa mentions ‘Official Business’ and he’s a mere contractor need to get their facts right. Pakistan’s diplomatic visa does not carry the words ‘Diplomatic Visa’ imprinted on it. When Pakistani authorities endorse a visa saying ‘Official Business’ on a diplomatic passport, they recognise that the person is travelling to our country under diplomatic immunity. If he stays here on assignment, he gets a diplomatic ID card with his immunity status printed on its back.

It is also well-known that our Foreign Office maintains a list of people who have been extended diplomatic immunity. Article 31 of the 1961 Vienna Convention clearly covers technical and administrative staff, as pointed out by lawyer Asad Jamal in his recent analysis (see The Friday Times, February 11-17). When someone covered by immunity invokes it after committing a crime, the proper procedure is for the police to check that list. It is a matter of a couple of hours at best. There shouldn’t have been confusion about immunity, but motivated officials simply passed the buck. No one wanted to appear to be ‘supporting’ an American ‘murderer’.

In the recently leaked video of Davis’ conversation with the police (why was it videotaped, if not for political mileage), Davis is repeatedly asking for his passport, which could have answered a few questions. But who cares about facts? The popular reaction is that an evil American shot innocent Pakistanis. We are unclear about his diplomatic status because he was a contractor. Once again, I was amused to read stories about how that ‘American stooge’, our ambassador in Washington, gave Davis a visa to conduct secret operations in Pakistan. There seems to be no shortage of black humour in our dear homeland.

We have missed the chance to demonstrate that we are a rule-based state, compliant with international law. Our government could have easily acknowledged the principle of immunity, and demanded that the US waive it (as happened in the famous case of a Georgian diplomat in US) or that Davis be tried in his own country (as happened in case of a Russian diplomat in Canada). Our third legal option was to do what Britain did with Libya: Break off diplomatic relations when Libya refused to waive immunity for a diplomat who killed a British policewoman. Instead, we created an emotional argument and will end up doing many intellectual and legal calisthenics before setting the man free under pressure.

Emotionalism reigns supreme. We hate America but not American aid or arms. We have a former foreign minister scoring brownie points for his honourable defiance of the US, a foreign secretary who is giving unclear signals and a media that wants Davis to be hanged tomorrow, preferably without a trial. The bitter truth is that the merits of Davis’ case are marginal to the current hype in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (123)

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Feb 15, 2011 - 11:55PM

    This is excellent. I was waiting for someone to talk sense — for a change.


    I will send this to my friends here in the US.Recommend

  • Nadia
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:00AM

    Sharp, excellent piece. Thank you. Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:13AM

    Mr Raza the case is in Court and they will decide on facts, people emotion wont have much to do with the decision. Recommend

  • Salman
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:23AM

    Why is no one explaining that this whole issue of “the courts” is a huge and distracting side show that everyone has bought into, as they have no jurisdiction in this matter. Author rightly points out that the government has three legitimate options, and only three. The courts are irrelevant until one of those options is taken. Recommend

  • Arifq
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:24AM

    Finally, voice of reason, Raza this was much needed many thanks. Recommend

  • Sara
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:39AM

    !: Dont put ball in Court’s court. If the FIR will weak, court cant do any thing.

    2: If raymond was a diplomat, why govt is taking so much time to declare this, what about statement of Shah mehmood qureshi about forge documents of immunity of raymond?

    3: America wants different rule for herself and different rules for others.

    4: our govt may b beggar to America but people are not. People are not slaves of America.

    5: What Vienna convention says about deliberate murder by any Diplomat?

    Plz dont complex the issue. Qasas is there in ISLAM. If family of Deceased forgive murderer who are we to argue upon this.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:49AM

    not a very good article where the only stressed point is on Pakistani emotionalism and where author failed to address the root-cause of emotionalism.

    a woman did suicide as her husband was shot dead by this not-yet-proved diplomat, bringing out to Pakistanis that she is certain the justice won’t be dispensed. are you, author, afraid to call that too an act of emotionalism in a way straightforward?

    there are reasons to be emotional, sir! you gotta address it!Recommend

  • Jawad BT
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:51AM

    Raza bhai..

    Luv the script but the world has become a global place for movement with mutual concerns and understandings. i hope people would try to find angles that are positive for both the countries..Rather then just to do the point scoring. Lets be ambassadors of this country rather then being brokers for any other country.. All the intellectuals should respect its countries laws, culture and ethics specially where they live or at the end they would not be left even with tears..for the reference we should consult the History..Just Heard Malik in Geo saying that I hope they release Davis and then you would see what happens.. The results would be more hate for the Americans.. so lets try to bring solutions rather then self criticism..I would luv to read more progressive Articles from you..Recommend

  • rehan
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:52AM

    Good.Covered all aspects,but smells of slight flavour in favour of Uncle Sam.Raza Rumi Bhai,you could have mentioned the non helping attitude of the US ateast with regards to the silence over the 2nd vehicle and its occupants(were they also “immune” diplomats?).So I think the Americans have a hand too in giving this legal issue a political colour(..it was/is their ONLY bail out strategy:and they are nearly on the brink of Victory.They have us divided on the immunity issue now.Kerry Uncle said it too). Recommend

  • Adil8
    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:14AM

    It’s only the matter of time before raymond would have been laughing at Pakistanis after his release!! WE ARE AMERICAN SLAVES!! HOW CAN A SLAVE HANG HIS MASTER?? Recommend

  • Ali Zargun
    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:26AM

    While you’re scolding everyone for being so emotional about the issue, you may also want to pull your rational head out of wherever it is currently ensconced and be more honest about the concept of diplomatic immunity, which does not excuse crimes of the nature your hero, Ray Davis, courageously committed. Recommend

  • kumar
    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:33AM

    A main point missed by almost all commentators appears to be the tussle between the sharif led punjab province and PPP zardari federal govt, both trying to score points off each other in the Davis case.
    Zardari evidently preferred (in the beginning) to let Sharif/provincial police “take charge” and then “release davis” so that he could take advantage of that electorally later and score points against PML. Sharif, on the other hand, took a hard line, with the same electoral/public demagoguery in view, hoping to malign PPP for releasing him, and say that the province took a hard line, but was betrayed by Zardari.Recommend

  • Aamir+Ali
    Feb 16, 2011 - 3:30AM

    Matter should not be in court as it is already covered under Vienna Conventions.Recommend

  • Asif
    Feb 16, 2011 - 3:39AM

    Mr Raza immunity only applies if the criminal act is done while on official business. Would you, the Pak government or USA government care to explain what “official business” this person was doing carrying guns and driving around in a non embassy vehicle. The case is not whether he has immunity or not, but rather if the immunity can be applied in his particular case.

    If the USA accepts he was on official consular business, then that really opens up can of worms. How many people does that the USA have in Pakistan, who are roaming around in rented vehicles with firearms in their possession.

    I am sure USA would not be too pleased if officials from the Pakistan consulate decide to roam around with a few AK-47s in New York city. Recommend

  • saleem muhammad
    Feb 16, 2011 - 3:45AM

    @Ahmed. ……..and what you can expect from these courts which itself is playing to the Gallery. They will definitely follow what people want, and will not follow International Laws. And moreover, Yesterday your supreme court has passed a resolution to extend the contract of Justice Ramday……this happened first time in the human history …………..I am wondering what will happen if Ramday died on his natural death…..i think they will make a mummy of him to be placed on one of the chair as he is indispensable!! Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 3:50AM

    Kerry’s approach is good. He needs to show contrition, humility and care for what was clearly a tragic incident. Raza, you need to acknowledge that the way the American consulate handled this was also quite unprofessional. They just assumed that they could get away with sloppy paperwork because PK is a Third World country. The way the car trampled over the cyclist is particularly sad and the Vienna Convention is very clear that car accidents are NOT covered by diplomatic immunity in the same way. So let’s not chastise Pakistan on this so blithely. Yes, Pakistanis are over-emotional to their own detriment but this is a case of sloppiness and insensitivity which needs to be addressed. Glad Senator Kerry has set the right tone and agreed to follow up in the US with investigation on this case.Recommend

  • Tilsim
    Feb 16, 2011 - 4:25AM


    The new found belief of so many of our countrymen in our heavily politicised judicial system is touching indeed. A judicial system that takes no notice of valentine offerings to an indighted Qadri, a self proclaimed killer. A judicial system that has a long way to go before it proves that it can stand up to the pressure of domestic terrorists and the power of influence and money.

    This should have been a matter for the Foreign Office to opine on and not the courts. The Foreign Office is shirking it’s responsibilities regarding this hot potato because it’s easier to blame the courts either way. There is an added benefit that it diminishes the opposition’s ability to make political capital out of it.

    Public opinion is massively anti-American and that is why things are the way they are. Domestic and international law, good judgement, principles, common sense, ghairat, national spine etc do not come into it. Recommend

  • Mastishhk
    Feb 16, 2011 - 5:32AM

    @ Raza Rumi…Finally one sane voice to call a spade a spade. Govt has bungles big time in this issue. There was never a doubt that Raymond Davis enjoyed diplomatic immunity aand that he shot the two people in self defence. The Govt and the Police just to escape the wrath of the people cretaed ambiguity about his status and twisted the facts to paint him as a bood thirsty American. Initial Reports had eye witnesses stating that RD fired in self defense when attemp was made to rob him. Now suddenly everyone including the eyewitnesses and the police have changed tack and are claiming that the firing was unprovoked. They also are making claims of having confiscated sensitive documents and pictures as well as illegal arms and ammunition to bolster their case.Anyone with even an iota of common sense can see through this game.

    The right procedure to follow now should be to either handover RD to USA with a promise that he should be tried in US courts or ask the US to waive off his diplomatic immunity . There is no solid ground for a direct confrontation with USA on this issue. Pakistan is looking sillier in the whole episode with each passing day. We need to put an end to this circus asap.Recommend

  • Amna
    Feb 16, 2011 - 5:57AM

    His name wasn’t even on the original diplomat list that was from January 15th, yet it mysteriously appeared after the incident. If he is a diplomat, we should follow international laws and let him go, but for God’s sake,let the truth be evident before bashing your ignorant countrymen.

    So far, he is a really shady character and doesnt seem like a diplomat at all….Recommend

  • ad
    Feb 16, 2011 - 6:08AM

    this article is an example of liberal fascism :) sorry to say Recommend

  • pakpinoy
    Feb 16, 2011 - 6:38AM

    You hit the nail on the head — “Emotionalism”. It rules the lives of the entire nation. It causes its people to constantly repeat the same mistakes. I’ve never seen a people or nation so frequently fight for the wrong things. Fifty innocent people blown up in a mosque — big deal. No one moves a finger. Innocent, defenseless village lady falsely accused of blasphemy — big deal. No one, but one assassinated one, defends her and the nation anoints her only defender’s assassin a hero. Sick. Disgusting. Pathetic.

    Pakistan stands as the epitome of the saying, “Cut off your nose to spite your face.”Recommend

  • American
    Feb 16, 2011 - 7:41AM

    Mr. Ahmed, the point is….it should never have gone to court in the first place.
    If that judge had a cursory knowledge of international law, he should not have admitted the case and should not have remanded defendant to custody.Recommend

  • From Counterpunch
    Feb 16, 2011 - 8:40AM

    Section II, Article 41 of the treaty, in its first paragraph regarding the “Personal inviolability of consular officers,” states:

    “Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority.”

    In other words, the prosecutorial, police and judicial authorities in Lahore and the state of Punjab are doing exactly what they are supposed to do in holding Davis on murder charges, pending a judicial determination concerning whether or not he can properly claim diplomatic immunity.

    weblink: http://www.counterpunch.org/lindorff02082011.htmlRecommend

  • Usman Ahmad
    Feb 16, 2011 - 9:30AM

    You could have written only one line instead of this long disquisition..’Let Davis go’!Recommend

  • Tariq Ahmad
    Feb 16, 2011 - 9:40AM

    In the United States, the diplomat from a European country had killed a person while driving drunk, he was arrested, he claimed immunity, he was the counselor from the sending country, the local authorities wanted him prosecuted, and is immunity was waived by his own country and he is now sitting in Prison.

    If this person has immunity that Pakistan can ask for removing his immunity. I am not sure why you claim Pakistanis are emotional, Americans are just as emotional, we bombed Iraq without even having the proof that Sadam had anything to do with itRecommend

  • Syed Farrukh Hussain Shah
    Feb 16, 2011 - 9:59AM

    Please clear some ambiguities,,,,,yeah you are right davis court is in the court,,,,,what if our government does’nt present any evidence against him???or what if our government give him the certificate of immunity in back dates and americans manage to show that certiifcate in court? than court doesnt proceed further………………..PPP and PML N government is following the same track just to make fool our nation…..Recommend

  • ani
    Feb 16, 2011 - 10:58AM

    Very well said. What could have been resolved with assertive and imaginative diplomacy has turned into another bizzare theater where every actor, including the audience, is competing with each other to show who hates the USA the most. Facts are being manipulated to feed the state’s voracious appetite for revenge against the US and harming itself. Stay tuned – in Pakistan there is never a dearth of the outrageous and mindboggling.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:01AM

    Raza Rumi keeps telling others that they dont speak on the basis of facts but is himself no authority on the facts he claims to know with certainty. He who would criticize his own, appease the enemies and play being advocate.Recommend

  • Danish
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:29AM

    Very good article, Mr. Ahmed comments are copy of PPPP goverment. Why to wait for court verdict. If he killed some one in day light , witnessed by people and after investigation reported by Police in the charge sheet that he murder without any intention for self defence. Court will decide based on the input of Goverment. Goverment should decline the diplomatic status even if they have to break ties with US..but no hopes from corrput leadership of Pakistan (PPP, PML-N, MQM) all are US Touts except Imran Khan..Recommend

  • Aslam
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:33AM

    This piece reads like the case of Pakistani emotionalism meets US aplogetics. One knows that Mr Rumi is a multi-faceted person and an expert multi-tasker. It is earnestly wished that he has time to read comments on this website and to respond to the following:

    Mr Rumi wrote: “It is also well-known that our Foreign Office maintains a list of people who have been extended diplomatic immunity.” The question is: Was the name of Mr Davis included in the FO list at the time of Lahore incident?
    Mr Rumi wrote: “If he stays here on assignment, he gets a diplomatic ID card with his immunity status printed on its back.” The question is: Was Mr Davis carrying such an ID card with him?

  • Blithe
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:39AM

    Pathetic !

    With friends like these who needs Raymond Davis?
    And who needs hit and run drivers?Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:46AM

    Well written article based on ground realities. Sir, I wonder when majority people in your country reads Urdu news papers, can ever the truth be revealed to them ?
    Rightnow there is a very huge gap between civilians and the Government, unless the gap is bridged, the humilations and isolation are unavoidable.Recommend

  • Saim
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:57AM

    Finally a sane voice amongst all the knee-jerk anti-american vitriol. Well done Sir!Recommend

  • Shumaila Malik
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:32PM

    It has not been made clear to the people of Pakistan whether the man is a diplomat, it is the general conception that the man is a private security operative belonging to organisations such as blackwater. Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s stand in the matter is enough to raise suspicions regarding his identity. What is immensely alarming for the nation is that any foreigner committing crimes can go scot free with the government’s help who can forge documents to present anyone as a “diplomat”. I do agree that a diplomat has diplomatic immunity( however partial it may be), the question however is whether the man is a diplomat which our courts have the right to decide.
    There is a dire need to amend this law, it seems that the law has been conceived for the convenience of the US who itself does not abide by the law. many a countries have suffered in it’s wake.Recommend

  • amlendu
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:45PM

    I am sure USA would not be too pleased if officials from the Pakistan consulate decide to roam around with a few AK-47s in New York city.
    Sure USA will not be happy but they will not try to prosecute the said Pakistani consulate employee. They will expel the said Pakistan consulate employee as Persona Non-Grata. That is the norm followed in diplomatic circles. Even in case of India and Pakistan diplomats accused of spying in host countries are expelled and not prosecuted.Recommend

  • Shumaila Malik
    Feb 16, 2011 - 12:59PM

    For a reminder; Why are we overlooking the hit and run case? There was another dead body on that eventful day. Does the driver also enjoy diplomatic immunity?Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:09PM

    Excellent post Raza Sahib,

    It is not on Raymond Davis who killed two robbers while they are holding guns in their hands. No one is asking why ‘innocent men’ needed to pull guns on a ‘foreigner’. Each and every accused in Pakistan which is disliked by Mullah and media is asked to be hanged without trial. This starts from Asif Ali Zardari and goes to every PPP, ANP, MQM leader – none of them deserve a trial in land of pure. Unless state authorities stop patronage of extremism, Pakistan is a lost state. Recommend

  • Jawad BT
    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:55PM

    At least the Americans would know that there image managers in Pakistan r good for nothing including in Media..And they have ruined there image with diplomacy.. this would take another Billions of $ and Time to settle..Very well Planned..
    But one thing i would always appreciate, that the Americans can afford people like these along with R-Davis for the cost of Tax that every American Pays..Because they carry American passports..now that’s what i call a Nation..I didn’t read this kind of Piece in Thomas Jefferson Declaration may be they did some additional amendments after the Gulf War for the hired contractors.Recommend

  • Saad AlKhawaja
    Feb 16, 2011 - 1:55PM

    Emotional Pakistanis? Mr. rumi, I am surprised to see that it looks like you r also getting emotional in Ray’s favor (so called diplomat). Don’t you see how the whole American nation, president, government, agencies, corporations, media, congress, American civil society is blindly supporting him? Are not they emotional? His diplomatic status is still in doubts as it is still not cleared if he is a diplomat or a consular. The press release, released by the American consulate right after the incident indicates that the “Diplomatic Assassin” is a technical consultant for the American consulate Lahore.. Plz don’t confuse the emotional nationalists by your biased analysis incase ur green card is not under process these days.Recommend

  • NB
    Feb 16, 2011 - 2:37PM

    Thanks for calling a spade a spade.Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 3:03PM

    Dear readers: Many thanks for your comments. Let me make a few points here for those who think I am anyone’s apologist:

    I have no love lost for the US or its policies. I have written against US occupation of Afghanistan, its heinous destruction of Iraq time and again. But this issue is not about the US, it about us – Pakistan and Pakistanis. We have to keep facts in front of us and decide accordingly. By getting emotional or delusional all the time we only harm ourselves.

    Let us find ways to assert our independence and sovereignty. Stop partnering with the US in war on terror. Stop taking military and development aid and instead undertake structural reforms, spread education/skills and create jobs through economic growth. Flouting international laws and conventions will only damage our international image and obligations further.

    I also think that Raymond Davis should be punished for his reckless behaviour. He should not escape justice but the question is where? In my opinion (after consulting many lawyers and one is quoted above as well), I have come to the conclusions above.

    Having said that I respect the right of readers to disagree with me; and trash my arguments. But then I have freedom to express my views under the Constitution of Pakistan.
    Those who have counter-facts and diff legal interpretations please post them here. Otherwise, refrain from name-calling, which happens to be a favourite pastime of our conspiratorial mindsets.

    With malice to none.

  • Ali K Chishti
    Feb 16, 2011 - 3:27PM

    Brilliant piece. Recommend

  • MP
    Feb 16, 2011 - 3:36PM

    While I agree with some of your analysis, you clearly have not followed the story completely. The video was not taped by the policemen, but it was a spy camera in Davis’ shoes.Recommend

  • adnan ali
    Feb 16, 2011 - 3:36PM

    Article 41 of the Vienna Consular Convention states: “Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority.”

    Let us all agree that murder of two people is a grave crime. Also, please pause to consider the strong case of justice for the third victim mercilessly driven over by the people in the second car.

    When it comes to the Vienna convention, the US did not allow the same privileges to the Georgian diplomat in US. Hillary Clinton, as a New York Senator, sponsored a bill denying diplomatic immunity in case of unpaid parking tickets.

    Please, before harping on about our emotionality, consider this. Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 3:50PM

    Raza This is the standard response and world watches every time. The emotional fanning starts soon after an incident and blows away any reasoning , sane thnking or problem solving …Hyper streak prevails throughout and even the sane then start to defend the warped thinking . ….Recommend

  • Fayyaz
    Feb 16, 2011 - 4:14PM

    For God sake What about person killed by the car?Recommend

  • Ali Abbas Abidi
    Feb 16, 2011 - 5:33PM

    This article conveys one dimension of the whole Raymond Davis situation which has allowed it to be blown out of proportion. Claiming to take an all-objective stance on the procedural matters of the issue, the author provides us with valuable – even if simplistic – insights into how the matter should have been dealt with, barring a lack of advanced knowledge on international law. The FO, the federal government, the Punjab police and the courts have all been responsible for either passing the buck at times, and at others when it suits them, attempting to take a bite off this large, juicy chunk of a situation which is full of brownie points. However, this explication does not seem to be grounded in a political perspective whereby, the feedback of all political actors becomes necessary.

    When two men are shot dead by a white guy and then another run over by his consulate car then given the CONTEXT of Pakistan and our political realities, going on about objectivity borders on naivete. The context here also refers to the gargantuan rise in stakes given the added perspective of the behemoth that is the intelligence apparatus in the country. A lawsuit is filed in the US which seeks to summon the ISI chief. Months later, the CIA station chief’s identity is ‘leaked’. Then RD happens and initial reports also ‘point at’ the intelligence-related status of the two men killed by RD. Its easy to say that there were objective, institutional arrangements available. Lets face it, we don’t have any well-oiled institutions functioning at the moment, so it really came down to whether we had some rational heads in and around the Punjab province and Islamabad which could’ve extinguished the public inferno that would have become inevitable with the case dragging on.

    All in all, a sublime reminder of more sane perspectives on and dimensions to the RD fiasco. Perspectives build a corpus, and this is just one. I hope this is followed up by a more insightful article on the interest-based political manouevring at the federal level, now that we’re done with public emotionalism and the general strain of anti-Americanism in the country, even though these affect all political, intelligence, military and judicial functioning as well in a country which still hasn’t found a foothold in democratic good governance, thanks to our delightfully ‘dark-humored’ political elite.Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 5:49PM

    While you’ve been blowing the trumpet to release Raymond Davis since the day he was arrested; none of the discoveries of his activities, and the evidence found etc. has had any impact on your thinking. You care not for the fact that he shot and killed two who the police believe (with conviction) were ‘cold blooded murders’. You wouldn’t care if he shot up half of Mazung for target practise, I would expect you to still chant diplomatic immunity for he is an American. If he was an actual diplomat, he wouldn’t have been tangled up in the mess that he is in.
    Also, how you choose to ignore the very important & highly suspicious items that were found in Mr Davis’ possessions, i.e a telescope, a camera with pictures of military installments near the Pakistan/India border. None of this has any bearing in your thinking on whether to back your country or the US govt.
    I hope you come to terms with reality and understand the emotions of the people. Recommend

  • kumar
    Feb 16, 2011 - 7:01PM

    we just have to assume a paki killed him, so that is acceptable!! ;)Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 7:16PM

    Said Chauhdry: Davis should be tried (read my comment above). You sound like a classic conspiracy-theorist who finds secret agenda in everything. And course in my intentions too. Think whatever you have to. I have the freedom to express my opinion based on the available facts and I have done so without fear or cavil.
    I am not perfect and surely this is just another opinion. Relax, Pakistan won’t be sold on the basis of this short piece on a newspaper.
    Good grief!Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 7:18PM

    Mr ad (whoever you are with a funny nick and inability to write your true name here):

    Liberal fascists don’t believe in violence. Unlike the real fascists who kill Muslims in mosques, Imambargahs and crowded markets. Before you had the audacity to call me that reveal your identity.Recommend

  • Aamir
    Feb 16, 2011 - 7:23PM

    Imagine a Pakistani Diplomat doing the same in Washington.

    Mr. Raza, diplomats dont carry guns and shoot people dead on just suspicion. He could have shot in the air or in lower body just to scare them off.

    Bitter truth is that Davis breached the diplomatic protocol by carrying weapons and then actually using them. The fact whether he has diplomatic immunity or not is immaterial. In anyother self respect country of the world he would be prosecuted and his diplomatic immunity waved.

    And good allies dont arm twist their allies. Strangely, US calls North Korea and Iran rogue states but she i careful enough to roil them by using quite diplomacy. However in our case it didnt hesitate to show yankee hubris even though US has far better access to leadership than Iran and North Korea.Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 7:23PM

    Dear readers – pls read this excellent piece by lawyer Asad Jamal http://www.thefridaytimes.com/11022011/page2a.shtml


  • Raza
    Feb 16, 2011 - 7:33PM

    The article distorts the facts as much as it claims to straighten them up. One can go on and on about the negative slant and prejudiced viewpoint of Mr. Rumi, who conveniently mischaracterizes several facts, for example, the fact that the leaked video was initially taped by Raymond Davis himself by placing the camera next to his feet etcetera. The question of diplomatic immunity pales primarily because the crime is a heinous,cold blooded murder of two and the killing of a third person, whom Mr. Rumi conveniently ignores in his self-righteous, apologetic propaganda piece. Mr.Rumi castigates everyone for being emotional while himself indulges in a convoluted and skewed defense of the crime and the criminal, who, at best, enjoys limited immunity. If Mr. Rumi is so concerned about the state of pak-us relationship, he should give concrete suggestions to smoothen out the rough edges of this partnership between unequals that is based on mutual need and interests. Instead, Mr Rumi wants to take a high moral ground by deprecating the emotions of the whole country and degrading the critical thinking ability of everyone except him and his paymasters, namely Najam Sethi. Both have made desperate attempts at trying to mislead the nation and presenting only one side of this terribly lopsided picture.
    We wonder how do people like Mr. Raza Rumi sleep with their conscience.Recommend

  • Kiran Khan
    Feb 16, 2011 - 7:37PM

    @Raza Rumi, I read your piece with care and was expecting that the person critical of emotionalism would be careful enough to overcome his own prejudices but I was disappointed. Obviously those motivated by xenophobic anti-american feelings are not ready to deal the case on its merits but the so called exponents of dispassionate “bitter truths” (like you) are also promoting a particular (pro) position, which is equally unreasonable and far from the merit-based treatment.

    Amazingly, you found all the faults with the lapses of GOP, media frenzy and emotive reactions of society but none with the US policy and the way they handled this case.
    Frankly, your piece is hardly balanced and unbiased. However I do agree with your conclusion that merits of the case are “marginal”, unfortunately, your piece is no exception to this pattern. Your building your case on the basis of half-truths. Recommend

  • Rajat
    Feb 16, 2011 - 8:01PM

    Vienna convention needs to be altered in today’s world. All the rules and protocol were held good in the World wars and the cold war era, when the communications were not developed and the world was not as close as it is today. Even 10 years ago, I as an Indian national would not have been able to interact with Pakistanis (even though our relations is as rotten as it was then) if it was not for the internet. Diplomatic immunity should be toned down, and should only include pardon for offences like drinking alcohol in public in Islamic countries, and others… It should not include cases which involves the death of people. Recommend

  • chitposh
    Feb 16, 2011 - 8:13PM

    one thing is consensual that foreign office should have taken a clear position whether Davy enjoys immunity or not even now they should public their firm position Recommend

  • Rizwan Ahmad
    Feb 16, 2011 - 9:16PM

    @Rajat: You have raised a very good point. Law sounds to be out-dated, issuing a diplomatic visa is like giving a license to do whatever they want in another country. It especially gets tricky when the diplomats are from strong countries like USA and they do something in a 3rd world country like Pakistan.

    Just imagine a vice-versa situation, Pakistan would never be able to claim immunity for it’s diplomatic staff. But apparently, this is how world works, “Might is Right”.Recommend

  • Khalid
    Feb 16, 2011 - 9:31PM

    Nice one, makes sense. By the way Americans are taking themselves above all the laws that is why they are getting mad to get him released.Recommend

  • Nizam
    Feb 16, 2011 - 9:34PM

    Why are most of the commenters getting the point of this article? Agree or disagree with international law, with the treaty commitments that Pakistan has made, we must honor them or look like a failed, terrorist state, with no rule of law. You can shout “hang Davis!” all you want, or “Free Aafia!” — it doesn’t change the facts of the case. And why would we want to put Pakistani diplomats at risk? Senator Kerry just said that Davis would be tried in the US. Let’s take that offer while it is still warm and get rid of this embarrassing saga, which will only serve to make us look barbaric and ridiculous in the eyes of the world. By obstinately hanging on to Davis and by pretending that ANYONE will actually get “justice” in our provincial court system, we are behaving like idiots, beholden to a bunch of illiterate rabble-rousers. Mr. Rumi makes two excellent points: a) We’ve got an out to this nightmare situation under international and Pakistani treaty obligation b) no good can come of pursuing a so-called “fair trial.” Let’s save face and expel the Davis guy quickly. Our FO is incompetent and courts just as bad, they will drag this on forever, and keep dragging down the reputation of our nation. Kick him out and let’s move on!Recommend

  • Siddique Humayun
    Feb 16, 2011 - 9:39PM

    Duh. Simply, duh.
    Why must we be so apologetic?
    1. Davis has himself said he was a contractor, even if he is not;
    2. Consular employees do NOT, read again, do NOT enjoy blanket immunity under international law.

    Article 37 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Convention reads as follows:

    “Members of the administrative and technical staff of the mission, together with members of
    their families forming part of their respective households, shall, if they are not nationals of or
    permanently resident in the receiving State, 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. They shall also enjoy the privileges specified in article 36, paragraph 1, in respect of articles imported at the time of first installation.”

    Now read carefully. They enjoy immunities EXCEPT that the immunity from civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving state, and shall NOT extent to acts performed outside the course of their duties.

    Either Mr. Rumi believes that murdering two people in cold blood is “an act performed in the course of the duty of Raymond Davis”, or he must not have read the convention. Or maybe, the whole Foreign Office does not understand the convention.

    Embassy Officials enjoy blanket immunity, NOT Consul employees, and certainly not the technical staff.

    Duh, once again.Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 10:09PM

    Nizam: Agree with you 100%. We can raise issues with the international conventions but cannot undo them.
    Time to handle this matter and not let it get out of control.Recommend

  • Rizwan Ahmad
    Feb 16, 2011 - 10:14PM

    Though I agree with most of the things you say but it would have been a difficult situation for me in case the deceased were my family members (how would you like it to be done, if they were your family members). One possible solution that I foresee is to convince the families of the people who were killed. On another note, our judicial system and other institutions are not as bad as you picture them. Recommend

  • Sheheryar Khan
    Feb 16, 2011 - 10:39PM

    Mr Raza the third legal option you mentioned in your article is perhaps a fitting one. Here’s hoping that you don’t place this ‘option’ behind the curtains of emotionalism any next day. Let it be added in your knowledge that a layman Pakistani is not against American people, American aid or American technology. The infringements and pressure exertion carried out by American officials are not kept in good books of the majority. You gave a handful of examples regarding the countries which offended Vienna Convention. I think Pakistan need to do some settling here as well and sign it off or propose an ammendment in here. Anyways, I’ve a question. What is your response to a situation in which a Pakistani envoy assassinates US President? Is he liable to claim Viennaic immunity? Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 10:45PM

    Well said.Recommend

  • Zulfikar
    Feb 16, 2011 - 10:52PM

    what would you say about that ATC Court Judge who refused to try Qadri at Pindi?Recommend

  • Hamid Raza
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:12PM

    To me, there is no point in loudmouthing or even writing verbose pieces on what should be done or what should have been done after the matter has been taken up by a higher court of law. Let the court decide, on the basis of evidence to be provided to it by both the parties concerned, as to whether Mr. Raymond is entitled to diplomatic immunity or not. The US government has also decided to seek the court arbitration. We, the Pakistanis, should also wait for the court proceedings rather than beating our chests or wasting precious ink on loaded polemics. Recommend

  • Awad Faheem
    Feb 17, 2011 - 12:09AM

    Dear readers – pls read this excellent piece on the same issue by novelist Mohsin Hamid
    http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/13/the-game-preserve.html Recommend

  • Babloo
    Feb 17, 2011 - 12:27AM

    If Davis has ‘diplomatic immunity’, which he has, Pak courts have absolutely no role.
    So all this talk about ‘let courts decide’ , is violation of the concept of diplomatic immunity.
    Diplomatic immunity has no meaning, if courts could deliberate on it.

    So what you have his mere political duplicity.Recommend

  • rehan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 1:03AM

    @Raza Rumi. It is already out of control.This is what I sense will/might happen.Why do you think Kerry was quoting hadiths of The Holy Prophet(he didn’t want to name “the” prophet though).He landed on 12th Rabiul Awwal.Our PM says today that he has requested the “religious scholars” to find a solution as per Islamic dictates.The power/respect our religious Pirs command is a well known fact.There is all the possibility that the grieved families will be told of the benefits of FORGIVENESS and that the victims are already in Jannah(and have come come in the Pir’s dreams telling him to convey to their families that they are in a better place!).A win win situation for both the governments,as there will be no trial and the many questions which have been raised will be ‘legally closed’. Recommend

  • rehan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 1:13AM

    @Raza Rumi.My doubts were right about your article.I can produce 10 well reputed lawyers who will present laws/facts supporting the non eligibility of immunity for Davis.And like many readers have said,why is this case being hinged only on the IMMUNITY factor.It was a murder of “THREE PEOPLE” please!!..NOT “TWO”.The US still has blood on its hands by remaining silent on the third vistim’s killers.Are those killers also as DOUBTFUL as Raymond with a QUESTIONABLE immunity status as well??This is where I say that the US too has made a mess of the whole issue(our government definitely has of course).Recommend

  • styre
    Feb 17, 2011 - 2:01AM

    Where did all of you reasonable Pakistanis come from? Please take back your country which has suffered the death of reason for too long.Recommend

  • Sumair
    Feb 17, 2011 - 2:14AM

    It’s really sad that people like you are talking this non-sense as Pakistani stance is not emotional at all.What we are saying is that Raymond himself accept that he murdered the two Pakistani’s,forget about a moment about the debate that those Pakistani’s were good or evil,But sir the fact of the matter is that during the punjab police investigation it has been proven that he did not kill those Pakistani citizens in self defense.So Do you really think that Reymond immunity is justified on moral grounds???????????????????????????????????????Morality comes first and is superior to Laws and regulations…Recommend

  • Hasan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 5:27AM

    1. The article was not about the root cause of Pakistani emotionalism; and
    2. The subsequent suicide of the wife of one of the deceased men is not relevant to the issue of diplomatic immunity.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 5:40AM

    @Said Chaudhry:
    Since when has it been up to the police to determine whether any any person charged with a crime such as murder did it “with conviction” and hence has committed “cold blooded murder” (very poor choice of words on your part).

    The role of the police is to investigate crimes (with an independent mind) and then to charge an individual/s if they believe that their is sufficient evidence for a court to convict.

    It is the role of the court to determine the intention of the individual/s charged and from that intention (in the case of a killing) determine whether or not “cold blooded murder” has taken place.

    I think you misunderstand the role of the police. Recommend

  • questioner
    Feb 17, 2011 - 6:50AM

    When Indian plane was hijacked from Nepal, the pakistani ISI agent in Nepal was caught with RDX explosives at a friends. He was also seen going to the airport and handing over a briefcase suspected to contain explosives used to hijack the plane, to the hijackers under the cover of diplomatic rules at the airport. Given the rules, this briefcase was not inspected.

    I wonder how we would have felt if he had not been handed back to paksitan, had been charged with an international terror crime and had spilled the beans on our involvementRecommend

  • Feb 17, 2011 - 9:38AM

    Zulfikar: And the prosecutors who are dilly dallying and afraid to prosecute??Recommend

  • SUB
    Feb 17, 2011 - 10:12AM

    @Romi: I respect your opinion & sources to this information however I also have an opinion that You can sure fill in for Qureshi as after his yesterday’s press and your column now I realize that you are more aware of the situation then the whole of foreign ministry. No wonder you work for Mr. Sethi’s Friday Times

    I also believe that Shahbaz Sharif is may be slightly more credible among the current lot of politicians as he mentioned in last night’s Kamran Khan show that Rehman Malik phoned him in the middle of the night on jan 29th or 30th saying that they are issuing immunity to this Daves or whatever is his real name

    I also very strongly believe that had there been some solid proof, the USA had stormed the world media and media in Pakistan with the evidence/ documentation. Currently i find them kind of apologetic and defensive

    Diplomatic immunity or not the state of Pakistan has to decide it not the courts of Pakistan. And for their American masters they had not taken like 3 weeks to produce a proof if it ever has existed

    you could have also filled in very well for Firdous Aashiq Awan & Fauzia Wahab if you have a real bigger mouth. HeHeRecommend

  • Haider Nawab
    Feb 17, 2011 - 10:53AM

    Emotions run high Rumi in a country that get attacked on a regular basis, whose boundaries are breached almost weekly by aerial bombardment. Remember, we are in a state of war, but I’m afraid those are also not rules of engagement with allied nations.

    There is no denying that the Vienna Convention provides immunity to diplomats, but it has yet to be proven that the US official is covered. Politicians live for political mileage, but what you talk about points to the weakness of our institutions.

    The Raymond Davis case is a stress test of the independence of the foreign office, the police, judiciary and other high offices of the country.

    I suspect, many if not most in Pakistan would gladly give up American aid for being alive free of the danger of being shot by a foreigner in broad daylight.Recommend

  • Mujtaba Hameed
    Feb 17, 2011 - 10:55AM

    Raza Rumi:

    If this person was a real diplomat, the subservient Fed Government & the Foreign Office (Less Shah Mehmood) would have been conspicuously waiving his diplomatic documents in press conferences the hour this incident happened. Recommend

  • ha
    Feb 17, 2011 - 11:02AM

    Emotions run high Rumi in a country that get attacked on a regular basis, whose boundaries are breached almost weekly by aerial bombardment. Remember, we are in a state of war, but I’m afraid those are also not rules of engagement with allied nations.

    There is no denying that the Vienna Convention provides immunity to diplomats, but it has yet to be proven that the US official is covered. Politicians live for political mileage, but what you talk about points to the weakness of our institutions.

    The Raymond Davis case is a stress test of the independence of the foreign office, the police, judiciary and other high offices of the country.

    I suspect, many if not most in Pakistan would gladly give up American aid for being alive free of the danger of being shot by a foreigner in broad daylight.Recommend

  • Mujtaba Hameed
    Feb 17, 2011 - 11:06AM

    Raza Rumi:

    Reference: Comments by Siddique Hamayun

    There are concrete details on the Vienna Convention (that everyone is referring to while less than 1% would have ever bothered to read).. Raza instead of talking the abstract, I would like to see if you are able to refute the terms laid in the Vienna document itself.Recommend

  • Feb 17, 2011 - 11:10AM

    Lets put all things aside for a while and just think about the BLODDY, 2ND CLASS citizens of this destitute country who were killed by this American. Some of our intelligentia usually come forward to prove themselves more civilized and humane. But why we always presume that Pakis must be guilty in one way or the other. Why had we already decided that the persons killed were criminals. Why? Mr. Rumi why….??? Recommend

  • Feb 17, 2011 - 11:32AM

    Raza Rumi, please refrain from judgements about my personality, it’s really uncalled for coming from someone like you. There is nothing in my comment that spells conspiracy so Im not sure why you would accuse me of seeing a secret agenda. What I wrote in my comment was based on facts. There are no half truths about the items that were found in Mr Davis’ possession, there is photographic evidence all over the web if you need it. While I respect freedom of speech and opinion – it is hard to accept your article as anything more than what it is, ridiculing a nation for being emotional about an incident you think does not warrant as much emotion, while realistically it is most important & deserves to be looked at under the microscope. If you can provide evidence that Mr Davis’ activities and the items (cellphone tracker, mini telescope, pictures of military instalments, Glock,Baretta,magazines etc) found in his possession are normal accessories carried by those given protection under Vienna treaty, it will help clear up a lot of emotions and suspicions drawing in our minds. Im glad you think he should be tried in (Pakistani) court. Recommend

  • A. Waheed Mir
    Feb 17, 2011 - 11:53AM

    Its very sad that our govt have allowed James bond type diplomats to come in Pakistan any time & kill our innocent persons. The case is in court and let court decide about this issue. US president also involved now it means there might be some thing wrong as he want to retain
    games bond asap.Recommend

  • Fahad Shaikh
    Feb 17, 2011 - 12:10PM

    Good attempt to name Paki patriotism to EMOTIONALISM…

    You are right that Pakistan should have requested US to waive the immunity, but my point is:
    Is he Raymond Davis or X.Y.Z ?
    Is he entitled to the immunity that you are referring to?
    & if he is entitled to that immunity, is this henious act of killing two persons, immunable?

    Sir, you have addressed the emotionalism of Pakistanis, but please mention the reasons of such high rise in it.

    & Lastly, What is your view on US getting so EMOTIONAL on this case of a Spy “RAYMOND”.Recommend

  • Bilal Khan Niazi
    Feb 17, 2011 - 1:08PM

    Why Americans are hiding his name.

    If this person is protected by international law then why we Pakistanis are not protected from him by our law.

    Secondly I will ask US loving Fozia Wahab that 600 such mercenaries are wandering about in Pakistan, then why don’t you issue an ordinance that (Hide somewhere when you see any American around you, coz they have immunity and he is authorized to kill you at his will.)Recommend

  • Muhammad Asif Khan
    Feb 17, 2011 - 1:15PM

    @ Said
    You have blown the cover….my sincere advise to Rumi is to associate himself with the righteous people and none of us should speak for criminals…..Recommend

  • ayesha
    Feb 17, 2011 - 2:44PM


    All are very valid and brilliant points raised by you. I feel what we also needs to put in perspective is that Pakistan itself has been seeking and getting away under diplomatic immunity in the past. Its not an unusual concept. Our very own ambassador to US was charged against assault on his wife a few years back- no action was taken. Theft, carrying ammunition, child molestations- all are established crimes that our diplomats have been engaged in historically. I dont think it is for the masses to decide what business Ray was on in Pakistan-and if or not that business is popular or not. The matter should only be dealt with and closed by the rules we follow under international treaties. I do not believe we have the leverage to get emotional and desire to run our diplomatic affairs on our wishlist.

    I appreciate your writing and i dont feel you should even bother to clarify your ‘lack of association’ with US :)Recommend

  • Ibn Haq
    Feb 17, 2011 - 4:03PM

    Good article.Written sensibly and wisely with a clear and unbiased understanding of facts. Sadly some major TV channel talk shows have played a negative role in creating hype and emotionalism. They seemed to have decided Davis’ case from day one. We do not realise that our main issues are economic decline, poverty, and religious extremism. Instead of focussing on them we are always finding ways to blame America and the West not realising that we also receive support from them. Those who create hype and emotionalism in the name of honour do not realise that fulfilling international legal commitments and saving the national interest is a more honourable thing to do. Well done Raza Rumi. :)Recommend

  • faraz
    Feb 17, 2011 - 4:23PM

    Pakistan is being run by idiots. Where were ISI and other Provincial and Federal Govt. agencies, which are being paid by the taxes of poor pakistani? Are we live to pay taxes for the lavish life styles of our “public servants”.


  • imran
    Feb 17, 2011 - 4:38PM

    day light muggers who never hesitate to kill you if you resist are now innocent Pakistanis murdered by a man unfortunately an American … our way of saying is the he should have died while resisting as Pakistani ….

    Where are our senses! why Pakistan getting full of fanatics and Hippocrates ….. Recommend

  • Feb 17, 2011 - 4:55PM

    Raymond Davis, what so ever he is; has committed murder in front of so many people in a busy area. His helper has crushed another fellow under wheels, the vehicle and the driver are still at large. Point-1 What was the purpose of this so called diplomat being at Mazzang?
    Point-2 Why he was fully armed, are diplomats allowed to carry deadly weapons with them?
    Point-3 Why he was carrying so many gadgets with him, was it fair?
    Point-4 What is his real name and status; can reporter narrate it?
    Point-5 Where is that Vehicle responsible for crushing a human being?
    Point-6 Where is driver of that vehicle?
    Point-7 Starting from Rehman Malik to President Obama are telling different stories including Express Tribune and its associates which contradicts the facts.
    Point-7 Ex Foreign Minister is saying something which is not on your wave length.
    Point- 8 Foreign Secretary is also calling the tune.
    Why cannot you people relax and enjoy and let the Law take its course? According to me your logic is not so impressive, only Americans can understand it. It is not matter of over sensitive people; Please be rational do not try to harass the common folk with your views. Recommend

  • Nizam
    Feb 17, 2011 - 5:05PM

    @Rizwan Ahmad: Thanks. Two things, though 1. If our courts are so great, why can’t we even do this one right? When was the last time a CCPO held a press conference prior to a trial to declare someone guilty?! If not illegal, unethical. Secondly, if my family were the boys or Davis? If a Pakistani relative of mine shot and killed two would-be robbers, he’d be a hero right now. And let’s face it if his name was Raymond Sharif of Zardari or Gilani or some other powerful family, this matter would have been swept under the rug without any of us knowing about it.Recommend

  • Jawad BT
    Feb 17, 2011 - 6:15PM

    Rummi bhai,

    A senator called Charles Wilson – Father of Talibanization, came up with an idea of JIHAD, for which we are still paying. Another came and said Fight against Terrorism with an idea of YAQEEN (Trust) and when we catch the MAN they sent another Senator with the idea of ITHEHAD (Unity)..
    Dont you see we are in a state of unwanted War for the last 30 years..and if this Cowboy wanted to move around the city he could have taken help from atleast the local security and if he would have been robbed or shot dead in the mozang Area of Lahore what news would have gone around the world.. Then what would the people of America and Senators of America or Human Right Activists would shown the Picture to the Media.. Already the cricketing world has not come out of the Srilankan Team attack.. You cannot imagine how our brother sisters or families go through when they hear that Pakistan is the one behind all these activities.. But thank God who has given a wider picture of these Hired Contractors.. We should all try to get together and bring the focus of the world including the UN and Allied forces towards these contractors and save the future of our country..And in the End ask Senator John Kerry to take with him all of there Hired Boys (Contractors) for such activities to America so that we can Live and Pray in Peace.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Feb 17, 2011 - 7:07PM

    If you guys dont want to let the courts decide the affair then we bshould better accept a dictator.Recommend

  • Jeddy
    Feb 17, 2011 - 7:39PM

    If he had been shot dead, would it have made any difference?Recommend

  • Shahid Anwar
    Feb 17, 2011 - 7:53PM

    @Raza Rumi, In your piece, ‘Raymond Davis: Bitter Truths’, you found fault with everything in Pakistan: frenetic media, faulty security apparatus and reactive public opinion but you failed to see anything wrong (even mishandling) on the other side. Xenophobic emotionalism and anti-Americanism surely distort perception and capability to treat such cases on merit but I think, too liberal resort to half-truths, as you have done in your piece, is equally antithetical to merit-based treatment of the case in point. Your piece betrays your own prejudices (emotionalism) in the name of “bitter truths”. Recommend

  • fahad
    Feb 17, 2011 - 9:39PM

    pls dont blame pakistanis for being emotional, would the US treat our diplomat the same way in US the way want us to treat Davis. Secondly, what official business was Davis on on a non embassy vehicle with guns on him?? and what sort of self defence is shooting two people from the back and 200 sq yards away??
    stop being US’s advocate..Recommend

  • Saqib Nayab
    Feb 17, 2011 - 10:52PM

    Mr Raza! Don’t try to spin the issue at hand. The issue is:
    Did Davis murder Pakistani civilians? The answer is YES. (Confirmed by Police)
    Does Davis enjoy diplomatic immunity? The answer is NO. (Confirmed by Ex-Foreign Minister)
    What are his options? The answer is Trial or Deeyat.
    Deeyat: He flies.
    Trial: He hangs.

  • sumaira
    Feb 17, 2011 - 10:56PM

    infect he want to clear that every american is immune and those who give us aid is immune ,wow ,he did not mention that courts are there.Recommend

  • PK Expat
    Feb 18, 2011 - 12:23AM

    The article I have added below is a good one that tries to list all the facts associated with this incident. I have noticed several comments where readers are dissatisfied with the amount of information that has been made available regarding this issue. I hope this helps.


    I agree with Mr Rumi on the principle that emotionalism is counterproductive and we as a nation, along with all other nations, should avoid political discussions that become embroiled in personalised emotionalism.

    However I am not pleased with the extent of analysis and coverage that Mr Rumi provided. There are several points here which do need to be addressed (these are nicely summarised in the article I have linked, so I will not repeat them in my comment).

    I sincerely hope this issue is dealt with rapidly between Pakistan and the USA and doesn’t strain other long-term and significantly more important goals and objectives that we have as a nation. Recommend

  • Glorious cribber
    Feb 18, 2011 - 1:27AM

    Mr Rumi just a point of information here…while your article is ensconced in rational argument, do cosider that even if Ray Davis is automatically entitled to diplomatic immunity under the Vienna convention, the viennaconvention of 1963 is very clear on the extent of immunity given to consular staff. Hence the ambiguity on the American front. They first claimed he was a lhr consulate staffer and then realised they should allege otherwise. If the case was as clear and simple as one would want it to be the Americans would have relied less on posturing and more on documented facts. The issue remains and that in fact is the actual “bitter truth” that despite what is at stake here, is Davis entitled to Full diplomatic immunity in other words “blanket immunity” or not? For if he is not then risking relations with a super power is not something you have the luxury of choosing to risk, after all justice must be meted out. On another note even if Davis “is” entitled to blanket immunity, conventionally such immunity is waived and not applied when a “grave crime” is committed. I leave the definition of grave crime open to your interpretation.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Feb 18, 2011 - 8:27AM

    Pakistan is a victim. Yes its a victim of its own vicious anti-USA propoganda, that the Pak state, its army and ISI through numerous agents in the media and its nominal civilian government, deliberately feeds its people. It serves a purpose. The Pak state, points to the rabid anti-US sentiments among the jihadi populace and asks US for billions of dollars to hold the anti-US sentiment from wrecking havoc. So the Pak state collects and pockets dollars from USA with the right hand, while feeding anti-US garbage to its populace with left hand. Its an arrangement that has worked perfectly for Pak so far. The near paralysis of the Pak government on the Davis issue is a product of that environment. Recommend

  • Noor
    Feb 18, 2011 - 11:29AM

    We should not be so adamant to grant immunity to a killer of two, when even our Foreign Office denies. Had there been confirmed immunity, our Govt won’t have waited for even a day to release him.

    An important factor here is that the act of ruthlessness has been committed by a white American, whose Govt’s repute is already such that they are busy in destructive activites in our country.

    An honest consensus among analysts is that their offensives against Afghanis, Iraqis, elsewhere and covert activities in Pakistan are not because of reaction to extremist activities, but just to snub nationalism of respective people, which is unacceptable on moral grounds.

    True, we don’t enjoy a strong status to defend against the only super power, logically; but at the same time, I expect you to guide the readers to behave in a respectable manner among international community.

    Moreover, we should not bow for material benefits, as materialistic nations perish easily, whereas those who don’t even have much of luxuries but earn respect, live forever. Even Israeli war-winning PM Golda Mier learnt this lesson from our dearest Prophet Muhammad PBUH, check the link below.

  • Noor
    Feb 18, 2011 - 11:56AM

    Those Who Appease The Crocodile;
    Will Simply Be Eaten Last. _ Winston Churchill.Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 18, 2011 - 4:25PM

    Oh please give me a break. The Vienna Convention is written in a spirit to promote friendly ties not to commit murder and then joke about getting rid of the charges. This is not a movie scenario; when you defend yourself you do not shoot to kill rather the attempt is to disarm the aggressor.

    Can someone please explain that diplomats do not carry weapons in non-diplomatic cars. Plus in the current situation of our country like in Lahore and Karachi, where you are not allowing world cup matches, why was a diplomat without protocol and security roaming in a busy street. Davis, made a mistake, he should have had adequate security; did he forget he was in Lahore or he was too confident on his military skills?

    Another point why the government moved ISI to the defense ministry when there was issue of Visa given to American diplomats some time back? have some memory people; this is how our leaders sell the lives of people to foreigners. Give them visas and they shoot us.

    try to take some positives out of a home who lost a son.Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan Khan
    Feb 18, 2011 - 5:40PM

    How truth is presented in Pakistan can be gauged from following. The Nation, the right wing jihadists mouthpiece, publishes editions from Lahore. 1. Dak meant for interior Punjab and 2. Local published late for Lahore and surrounding areas.
    1. In Dak edition, it reported that the Americans “chased” the poor Pakistani motorcyclists from Shimla Pahari (the US Consulate) and passed through Edgerton Road and Queens Road (Ganga Ram Hospital). And shot dead the two at Qartaba Chowk.
    2. In local edition, it says Raymond crushed a motorcyclist at Shadman Chowk after which brave men followed him and Raymond killed them at Qartaba Chowk.

    Now, if first version is wrong than the second can also be. Anyone knowing the geography of LAHORE can assume that there is some thing thing dirty in reporting. And everyone at least know one thing that the crime scene created by the Nation in both stories is wrong. I won’t comment. it’s your job.
    Please see, watch and read both editions of The Nation (28-02-11)Recommend

  • Anwar Hasan
    Feb 18, 2011 - 9:03PM

    Where is the gun??Recommend

    Feb 18, 2011 - 11:54PM

    my gosh… o leaders of PAKISTAN, read this article once atleast….Recommend

  • R
    Feb 19, 2011 - 12:23AM

    Well written and argued. Emotionalism extends as far as receiving Aafia back in return for Raymond. Ludicrous! Now if only our police was as efficient in conducting day to day investigations as it has been in regards to the Davis saga. Recommend

  • Justice4all
    Feb 19, 2011 - 4:30AM

    Glenn (and Raza)
    You jumped the gun.
    The steps for diplomatic immunity are as follows:
    1. Was Davis a U.S. Government employee or a contractor hired under a PSC (personal service contract). If the latter there is no immunity. Apparently Davis had a pay stub with him when he was arrested that indicated the latter, which is what he also told the Lahore police.
    2. How did Davis enter Pakistan? It appears that he entered in 2009, on a diplomatic passport with diplomatic visa – which then expired. He later reentered Pakistan on his own passport with a new business visa. That would be illegal for a valid diplomat entering the USA.
    3. You forgot to mention the 25 Jan, 2011, diplomatic note in which the US did not mention Davis as an employee. He was only added to the list of diplomats AFTER the killings.
    4. I was issued a diplomatic passport by the State Dept. for a PRT position in Iraq in 2008, but was told I would not have any diplomatic immunity. They do not go hand in hand.
    5. You forgot to mention the driver of the second vehicle who ran over and killed a Pakistani motorcycle driver. The U.S. has neither identified him nor turned him over to the authorities. What is the story with that? So much for open-ness. Excellent diplomacy by our people.
    Matthew Nasuti
    Reporter – Kabul PressRecommend

  • Hanif Awan
    Feb 19, 2011 - 1:41PM

    We are being ruled by EMOTIONS n not by RULE OF LAW.Moreover,we are bing played in the HANDS of several kinds of MAAFIA.We are not ready to think even for any fact or reason.ALMIGHTY ALLAH may GUIDE us,sooner or later.We have LOST our PATH.The darkness of our own EMOTIONS will leave us wondering in the desert.We will have to rethink n readjust our priorities according to the present situation without being prejudice/emotional.Recommend

  • Basit
    Feb 19, 2011 - 2:08PM

    If Davis has the immunity, why US demanding for the release of DAVIS directly from govt. If he’s the diplomatic status, US may present the documents before the Honorable Court and get their “Diplomate” released by following the proper procedure being matter subjudice. I think exertin’ pressure on govt is undue if he’s not a diplomate, than he must be trialed at court!Recommend

  • American
    Feb 19, 2011 - 5:32PM

    @Basit and others saying…”let the court decide”
    Not only USA, the Lahore Court is also asking the Pakistan Govt to decide.
    Under International AND Pakistani law:

    1) it is the job of the Pakistani Government to decide (not the job of Pakistani Court)
    2) It is the job of Pakistani Govt to decide “at the time of arrival of Davis in Pakistan”…not now.
    3) The certification of sending government is what matters; the receiving government can refuse “at the time of arrival of Davis in Pakistan”
    4) Under international law, accepting him into Pakistan also “automatically” means accepting his status, “as declared and certified by sending government”
    5) After his arrival in Pakistan, the receiving government has only one option: declare him persona-non-grata and kick him out of the country…
    6) This is what will happen after Pakistanis clear their head of emotion and the TV-Anchors clear their ghairat filled stomachs. Recommend

  • Sheheryar
    Feb 19, 2011 - 9:46PM

    a third rate article … at best an average one …Recommend

  • Imran Ahmed
    Feb 21, 2011 - 1:45AM

    Excellent article Raza.

    The Vienna Conventions cannot be ignored even in a case as blatantly criminal as this one is.Recommend

  • Saidullah
    Feb 23, 2011 - 9:39PM

    Thank you for your courage, Raza. We need more people like you to stand up and tell it like it really is. Your message to Pakistanis, that we need to join you and others like yourslef in getting on our knees or bending over as per American demands, is something that should be voiced more clearly by our great leaders, Zardari and Gilani. The courts have absolutely no say in this, when Washington orders, Islamabad should submit without question.Recommend

  • shazia
    Feb 26, 2011 - 10:31AM

    Mr. Raza Rumi is simply wrong. As a Lahore Consulate contract employee, Mr. Davis does not have criminal immunity according Vienna Convention of 1963 on Consular Relations, if employee is involved in a grave crimeRecommend

  • Iftikhar Ahmad
    Mar 8, 2011 - 6:18PM

    I dont understand how the matter of US aid or arms can be corelated to the murders Raymond Davis was alleged to have committed. Why the worthy writer made it a part of his analysis? Emotional responses were natural because those killed were Pakistanis. Those who lost their loved ones by a foreigner in this manner can better understand it. And, one more thing, media does not want hanging of Raymond Davis without trial. Pakistanis only want the trial and justice to prevail. Recommend

  • hamid mirza
    Mar 14, 2011 - 2:36AM

    Dear Mr Raza Rumi,
    You wrote well articulated lore. Good as regards sanity. Please read vienna convention’s both sections i.e. VCDR – 1961 AND VCCR – 1963. You will gain much wisdom on it. Your argument are little patchy. article 41 is required to be read in Its true context. My dear Sir, in case of grave offence (and I think homicide is a one) the host country i.e. Pakistan in this case can apprehend and the competent judicial authority will decide about the result. As regards awarding diplomatic status to Mr His Royal Highness Sir Raymond Davis is concerned, let the courts decide. .Following is the verbatim text of article 40 of VCCR 1963 FOR YOUR INFORMATION PLEASE.
    Article 41
    Personal inviolability of consular officers
    1.Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a
    grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority.
    2.Except in the case specified in paragraph 1 of this article, consular officers shall not be
    committed to prison or be liable to any other form of restriction on their personal freedom save in
    execution of a judicial decision of final effect.
    3. If criminal proceedings are instituted against a consular officer, he must appear before the
    competent authorities. Nevertheless, the proceedings shall be conducted with the respect due to him by
    reason of his official position and, except in the case specified in paragraph 1 of this article, in a manner
    which will hamper the exercise of consular functions as little as possible. When, in the circumstances
    mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article, it has become necessary to detain a consular officer, the
    proceedings against him shall be instituted with the minimum of delay.

    Again read articles 9, 10 and 11.

    Only then comment and write flowery english. By the way you have ot written about American Diplomatic Terrorism whereby their President even is using immature language . What do u have to say about that? Please do not corner Pakistanis. On being cornered even cat jumps. Remember.

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