LAHORE: The families of the two people allegedly murdered by Raymond Davis are coming under pressure from politicians and religious groups not to strike any deals that would allow for Davis’ release.
Waseem Shamshad, elder brother of Fahim, one of the young men killed, told The Express Tribune that the families are coming under conflicting pressures. He claimed that on one hand the government is pressuring the victims’ families to withdraw the case against Davis, while several religious and political groups were pressuring them not to accept any deal that would allow Davis to walk free.
When he was alone, Shamshad freely named the parties that were urging him to keep pursuing the murder charge against Davis.
“Jamaat-e-Islami, Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba, Tehrik-e-Insaf, Insaf Students Federation and Jamaatud Dawa,” he said, listing off the parties which had called him.
When he was joined by his lawyer, however, Shamshad retracted his earlier statement about the Jamaatud Dawa, saying that they were not pressuring the family at all. He also seemed to change his tone about his feelings towards the affair, making it sound like he wanted revenge for his brother’s death.
“We only want hanging of Davis at that very place where he killed our brothers,” he said.
Nevertheless, he also made it evident that the public anger against Davis’ alleged crimes would make it very difficult for the family to accept any compromise or deal, even if they wanted to.
Since his brother’s death, Shamshad’s house has been visited by many political leaders, including Imran Khan, head of the Tehrik-e-Insaaf, and Munawwar Hasan, leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami. The Jamaatud Dawa held a rally that began at the family’s house and ended at Qurtaba Chowk, the place where Fahim was killed.
He said his mother, Haleema Bibi (55), was unable to believe that her son and daughter-in-law were dead.
“She often calls Fahim and Shumaila as if she sees them in front of her but finding them nowhere she starts weeping,” said Shamshad. “Being the youngest brother, Faizan was dearest to all of us – four brothers and two sisters.”
Shamshad claimed that US Senator John Kerry had wanted to visit the family, but that he had refused to meet the American legislator. He also denied allegations that the US government had attempted to bribe the family with money or the promise of visas to the United States.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2011.