LHC to begin Raymond Davis case Friday

Published: February 24, 2011
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The case of 36-year-old Davis, a former US special forces officer, has strained the already-uneasy alliance between the United States and Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The case of 36-year-old Davis, a former US special forces officer, has strained the already-uneasy alliance between the United States and Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani court is to begin proceedings Friday at a hearing into double murder charges against a CIA contractor who shot dead two men in Lahore last month, lawyers said.

The Pakistani court where police filed double murder charges against Davis this month is to sit Friday inside Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore, where Davis is being held, ahead of a High Court hearing to determine the diplomatic immunity issue, set for March 14.

“The hearing will be held inside Kot Lakhpat jail and notices have been served to all concerned,” public prosecutor Abdul Samad told AFP.

“The immunity case before the Lahore High Court will not affect the proceedings of this court until the high court bars it from doing so,” Samad said.

“We have framed double-murder charges against him and the copies of the final report will be provided to all parties,” he added.

Asad Manzoor Butt, the lawyer for the families of the men who were shot dead by Davis, said he had also received a notice telling him to appear in court.

“We hope to get the copy of formal charges tomorrow. It depends on the judge if he starts the hearing or adjourns it after giving of copies,” Butt said.

CIA, ISI cooperation scaled back after Raymond Davis shooting

Cooperation between the American and Pakistani spy agencies has been scaled back because of an incident involving a CIA contractor shooting two Pakistanis, Pakistani intelligence officials said on Thursday.

A senior Pakistani intelligence official in Islamabad said the case of Raymond Davis had strained but not broken relations between the CIA and the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligences (ISI) because the ISI didn’t know about Davis before he shot and killed two Pakistanis on January 27 in Lahore.

“It’s not business as usual; it’s not open war,” the official told Reuters. “Cooperation and operations together will continue at a lesser scale.”

Another intelligence official denied rumours that the two agencies were not working together.

“We are not ready to split,” he said. “There has been a patch up because we have both realised that in the larger interest of the region and the war on terrorism, CIA and ISI must work together.”

The case of 36-year-old Davis, a former US special forces officer, has strained the already-uneasy alliance between the United States and Pakistan.

Davis has been revealed to be a CIA contractor detailed to provide security at the US consulate in Lahore. The United States says the assignment gives Davis diplomatic immunity and he should be released immediately.

The US embassy in Islamabad declined to comment.

The possible presence of more CIA contractors like Davis worries the ISI because they don’t know how many there are, their identities or their duties. Officials say there could be “hundreds”.

“We are concerned,” the first official told Reuters. “We don’t know how many and we have asked them (CIA) to give this information to us. But they haven’t done that yet.”

It is widely thought the CIA is running a network of spies in Pakistan for a number of reasons: identifying militant targets for a campaign of strikes by unmanned drone aircraft, gathering intelligence on militant groups and on Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

Downward spiral

Signs of strain were evident in a letter the ISI sent to the Wall Street Journal in response to an article the newspaper published on the tension between the agencies.

“It is regrettable that CIA leadership on many occasions has failed to show respect to the relationship of the two agencies and has acted with arrogance towards ISI which has resulted in weakening the relationship on which it is entirely dependant,” the ISI said, according to a copy seen by Reuters.

“Involvement of CIA with Raymond Davis is beyond any shadow of doubt. Post incident conduct of CIA has virtually put the partnership into question. Irrespective of the commonality of objectives in this war on terror, it is hard to predict if the relationship will ever reach the level at which it was prior to the Davis episode.”

Relations between the two agencies has been on a downward slide since December when the CIA station chief in Islamabad was forced to leave the country after his name was published in a court filing over drone attacks.

The CIA believes the ISI leaked the name to a lawyer filing the case in retaliation for a civil court case arising from a militant attack on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, that could seek to put the head of the ISI in the dock of a Brooklyn courtroom.

The ISI also resents US suspicion over its commitment to fighting militancy.

Although Pakistan officially abandoned support for the Taliban after joining the US-led war against al Qaeda and the Taliban, critics, and some US military officers, say the ISI maintains ties with some of the Afghan Taliban groups to check rival India’s influence in Afghanistan.

Analysts say the ISI was behind the formation and training of several anti-Indian militant groups based in Punjab that have joined forces with the Pakistani Taliban to attack the state and its agencies, including the ISI.

The militants have carried out several attacks on the agency in recent years, killing dozens of agents.

“We are fighting not at the behest or for the Americans. We are fighting a war for ourselves, for our future,” the first intelligence official said. “We just have common interests. For both of us to succeed, we need each other.”

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Hamid Niazi
    Feb 24, 2011 - 2:42PM

    Relations should terminated & the NATO supply line should be cut!Recommend

  • aNu
    Feb 24, 2011 - 3:02PM

    Yes u r right
    Go America GoRecommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Feb 24, 2011 - 3:12PM

    The day we stop running in circles and away from realities of life. Only then we will be able to
    solve our problems and not let others do it for us-
    Both CIA and ISI have different visions yet they insist in wearing the same glasses. In this war
    against terrorism US perceives Afghanistan as a Strategic Pivot from where she could enforce
    her geo-political strategy in this region.Whereas Pakistan comprehends Afghanistan as cushion
    to prevent being surprised. Unfortunately we lost that cushion long time back when the former
    President signed secret agreements with US Government.Recommend

  • Saeed
    Feb 24, 2011 - 3:25PM

    This is the friendship? Long term relationship that hold two nations.Recommend

  • vasan
    Feb 24, 2011 - 3:28PM

    “We are fighting not at the behest or for the Americans. We are fighting a war for ourselves, for our future,” the first intelligence official said. “We just have common interests. For both of us to succeed, we need each other.”

    Try telling the above to the common pakistani, religious mullah and Imran khan. Would like to see whether they buy this.Recommend

  • Faisal Awan
    Feb 24, 2011 - 4:36PM

    America and NATO are causing loss of Billion to our Road network and putting huge extra burden on our security networks.

    Further, Pakistan is loosing Billions of dollars in custom duties as well. Last, the biggest problem is that illegal weapons are either directly taken out of these trailers or are summagled back in Pakistan.

    Pakistan should either stop it fully or put strict restrictions on their transportation including;

    Limit the trailers per month;
    Limit the items that can be taken to Afghanistan;
    Should check the items at port;
    Should Charges road, security, environment and other duties on them; and
    The items that are or can be produced in Pakistan should be allowed to be imported
    Recommend

  • Feb 24, 2011 - 5:00PM

    Pay your taxes! Then and only then will we escape American influence. Recommend

  • Feb 24, 2011 - 6:37PM

    NATO has their neck at the mercy of Pakistan. While we can strangulate them whenever we feel US or NATO misbehaves. It is simply the case of being and showing some legitimate arrogance to whom you facilitate. If you sell yourself, at least take a good price for itRecommend

  • Feb 24, 2011 - 9:18PM

    Whatever happened to the Ibad-ur-Rehman case? Recommend

  • Anoop
    Feb 25, 2011 - 7:56AM

    I wont be surprised if the prosecution is under prepared due to obvious reasons. If Davis is punished, then Pakistan will be worse off than it is now.

    The hypocrites, who were silent when Taseer was killed or when Musharaff usurped power,etc., are now saying they stand for “:Justice”. Recommend

  • khalid
    Feb 25, 2011 - 6:50PM

    cia used isi and pak army because they knew we are capable to fight in this region…..anyhow our army is very sensible he knew how much relationship we afford with American establishment….
    in the last we must apperciate thr pak army how he bravely fight in NWFP.

    PAKISTAN ZINDABADRecommend

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