ISLAMABAD: As fresh doubts emerged about the real identity of Raymond Davis, the government on Monday admitted the incident had strained ties between Islamabad and Washington but hoped leadership from both sides would not let things fester.
“There is a difference of opinion between Pakistan and the US, in the case of Davis, on the issues of interpretation and applicability of international and national laws,” said PM Yousaf Raza Gilani while addressing the National Assembly.
“This is because of the ambiguity and inconsistency that is reflected in the available record,” added the premier in an apparent reference to the mismatch between the US embassy and Pakistan’s foreign ministry on Davis’ status. US authorities have demanded his immediate release, insisting he was an employee of its consulate in Lahore and therefore enjoys diplomatic immunity.
Gilani said he hoped both Islamabad and Washington would not let their differences grow any further.
“I am confident both governments will not allow the Davis case to come in the way of this mutually beneficial partnership,” the premier added.
The premier made a cautious attempt to assure the nation that his government would not compromise on Pakistan’s sovereignty while deciding Davis’ case.
“We are a responsible government and conscious of the sentiments of our people,” he said, adding his government had sought legal opinion and was ‘mindful of international obligations under the Vienna Conventions and other legal instruments’.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2011.
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