LAHORE: The chief minister should lodge a murder case against the Lahore US consul general if the Americans refuse to give up the men who allegedly ran over and killed a pedestrian following the Qurtaba Chowk shooting.
If the government does not do this, Jamaat-i-Islami protesters will besiege the US consulate and force it to close down, JI Ameer Syed Munawar Hassan said on Friday. He was addressing a rally at Qurtaba Chowk aiming to put pressure on the government not to allow Raymond Davis to leave Pakistan.
Hasan condemned the chief minister for the fact that the police had not arrested the people responsible for the death of Ibadur Rehman, allegedly under the wheels of a US consulate vehicle. He said if they could not be arrested, the police should register an FIR against the consul general.
He urged the protesters to step up their movement against the government so that all “US operatives” were removed from the country. He asked them to bring their children and neighbours to the next protest, which would be in front of the US consulate. Family members of the pedestrian who was killed in the accident, as well as the two men allegedly shot and killed by Raymond Davis, were also invited to the protest.
“Ambassadors or killers?” and “Justice not immunity” read some of the placards the protesters carried. They also chanted slogans against Raymond Davis and the federal government.
JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch in his speech at the rally said that the present government was following the policies of General (retired) Pervez Musharraf’s regime. He said Davis’s arrest had revealed the US intelligence network in the country. He said the whole Pakistani nation wanted Davis hanged and nothing less. If not, the people would throw out the government.
JI leader Hafiz Salman Butt said the party had warned of the presence of American spies in Pakistan months ago. He blamed all terrorist attacks in Pakistan on the CIA and Blackwater. He said it was good luck that Davis had been arrested, because otherwise US operatives had always managed to flee after “committing their terrorist activities”.
He asked why the federal government had not declared him a terrorist.
He claimed that the government was preparing fake documents that would show Davis to be a diplomat with immunity. If the government did any such thing, it would prove the cause of its downfall.
He demanded that the Punjab government include terrorism charges in the FIR against Davis. He advised the protesters to remain vigilant of any move to pay compensation in return for the American’s release. They should demand his head and nothing less, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2011.
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