‘Family refused to meet Kerry’

Three protest rallies in the city demand Raymond Davis be tried here.


Rana Tanveer February 18, 2011

LAHORE: US Senator John Kerry tried on his recent trip to Pakistan to meet with the family of one of the Pakistanis killed by American national Raymond Davis, but the family refused, according to the brother of the dead man.

A man introducing himself as a representative of the US Consulate called Waseem Shamshad, brother of Fahim Shamshad, on his mobile phone on Wednesday and asked if the family could meet with the senator, Waseem told The Express Tribune.

“I told him that we do not want to meet with any US official because we consider them our enemies,” he said. “I want them to see that we will not accept a settlement.”

Davis was arrested in Lahore after shooting two motorcyclists at Qurtaba Chowk. He claimed he shot them in self-defence. A bystander at the scene was run over and killed by a US Consulate vehicle, which fled the scene.

Earlier addressing a Jamatud Dawa rally at Markaz-i-Qadsia after Friday prayers, Waseem said that the family would not meet with any official in this regard until Davis had been hanged for killing his brother. The protesters chanted slogans for Davis to be hanged. JD leader Amir Hamza demanded the Punjab government order the police to besiege the US Consulate and arrest the driver involved in the hit-and-run.

At least two other protests were held in the city on Friday, both in front of the US Consulate, demanding the trial and punishment of Davis in Pakistan. The protesters burnt American flags and effigies of Davis.

Some 300 Islami Jamiat Talaba protesters scuffled with the police as they tried to enter the consulate building. The large number of security personnel, most of them in civvies, kept the protesters away from the entrance.

The IJT protesters demanded that the government identify and arrest the killers of Ibadur Rehman, the man run over by a US consulate vehicle. They shouted slogans condemning the US and Pakistani governments and warning them of far bigger protests if Davis was handed over to the US authorities.

The protesters blocked the road for more than one hour with burning tyres. They burnt an effigy of Davis and an American flag.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activists marched in a rally from Qurtaba Chowk to the US Consulate to express solidarity with the bereaved families and anger against the US authorities. Outside the consulate building, they burnt a Davis effigy.

Addressing the protesters, PTI Lahore president Mian Mahmood Rasheed said that Davis did not deserve diplomatic immunity and if he were granted it, the government would face a strong reaction. He said the US and Pakistan governments were trying to forge papers to give Davis diplomatic immunity, but the people would not allow this. He said under the law, Davis should be executed.

On Thursday, the Lahore High Court Bar Association carried a unanimous resolution demanding the Pakistani government not hand Davis over to the US. The bar association expressed anger at the killing of the three Pakistani citizens and sympathy for their families.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2011.

COMMENTS (5)

Asif | 10 years ago | Reply @shahzad bukhari: You are assuming that the family is under pressure from anyone to refuse blood money. Both the families refused it from the outset. And in this instance for the government or anyone to force them to accept it would be tantamount to making Pakistan like a game preserve where foreign soldiers can come and shoot Pakistanis like animals and then pay some money and leave. And what about Mr Kerry's hollow promises to prosecute Davis in the US if he is released by Pakistan. We now know that the driver of the suv that ran over and killed Ibadur Rehman, the completely innocent motorcyclist, has now reached the US. There is no news as yet of him being arrested and tried for manslaughter. Did he not commit a crime? should he not be brought to justice for it? Where is Mr Kerry doing about this?
Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi | 10 years ago | Reply Well done now these thugs from JUD and what now are this family's custodians. Atleast Kerry did want to meet. How many Pakistani politicians would have done that? This issue has become so politicised that I think there is no point arguing who is right. Davis should be given immunity and should be sent outside Pakistan.
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