Raymond Davis affair: What next?

Published: February 27, 2011
Protestors shout slogans against arrested US man Raymond Davis. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Protestors shout slogans against arrested US man Raymond Davis. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The Raymond Davis affair simmers on and on — sometimes reaching boiling point, at other times going back to a less dramatic situation. Davis has made it clear that he is unwilling to accept the authority of Pakistani courts to determine his fate. Before a Lahore district judge on February 26, he refused to receive the charge sheet which was presented to him for a case accusing him of murder — arguing that he enjoyed full diplomatic immunity. The judge adjourned the hearing after asking Mr Davis to engage a lawyer and, at the same time, also sought help from the government on the immunity issue. During the course of the hearing, Mr Davis had provided a letter from the US embassy which he said was evidence of his diplomatic immunity — and hence he could not be tried by the court. The case is far more complex than anything that can be dealt with by the lower courts. Following the revelation that Mr Davis works on behalf of the CIA — something that may not have been altogether unexpected given the nature of ties between Pakistan and America — the issue has become even more sensitive, not least because of the public reaction to it.

Having said that, it is worth reiterating that the matter of whether Mr Davis is eligible for diplomatic immunity needs to be decided, not necessarily by a court of law, but by the Foreign Office, since it would — or should — have the documents that would decide, once and for all, whether the American is entitled to what he is claiming is his right under the Vienna Conventions. Perhaps what is to follow on this front in the coming days should be seen in light of meetings between army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and senior American military officials in Oman, earlier this week. The option of the Americans paying diyat to the families of the three victims is also a possibility, with at least one Lahore-based weekly claiming some days ago that the family of the third victim who was run over has already accepted an out-of-court settlement. The way forward is clear: In the short run, resolve the matter sooner than later and, in the long run, review the arrangement which enabled such an incident to happen.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Srivastava
    Feb 27, 2011 - 6:22PM

    Is Raymond Davis a diplomat? Is he a murderer? These questions are irrelevant.

    The real question is will Pakistan stand up to America? Can Pakistan produce more than rhetoric, does Pakistan have the guts and resolve to take the heat like Iran, Libya, Venezuela to defy America.

    Answer is not difficult to guess? Raymond Davis will walk free for some kind of a deal, Pakistan will indeed get a face saver, but nothing more.Recommend

    Feb 27, 2011 - 6:58PM

    It is evident from the editorial that Pak govt under lot of pressure from US has already prepared a script and drama will be enacted by the court accordingly, paving way to release/extradite Raymond Davis to stand trial in USA. Recommend

  • Feb 27, 2011 - 8:59PM

    Mr Editor,
    the american govt and officials pressurizing the the pakistani govt and other autorities to release raymondavis with out any delay raymondavos has ammanity under geneva convention wheather any country can send a secret agent under geneva convention to other countries american authorities intentionaly send raymondavis under diplomatic passport to pakistan for destablising and for terroist activities every pakistani know from many years that black water cia and mossad agent disguise of american diplomatic in islamabad lahore and peshawar they are invoved in terroist activity the american and israel ad india want the internationaly pakistan disgrace after disgracing to snatch the nuclear tecnology from pakistan and divide pakistan in many parts for this pupose american cia and mossad using the criminal pakistani and afghani in disguise of taliban.
    Mr editor now every pakistani know that america is not our friend and know the activity of american agents unfortunatly our politician and leader are coward and apportunates and have no courage to take bold step in intrest of country and nation but pakistani people thinking and style totaly opposite pakistani people will never accept any decision which will against their thinking now pakistani think that american govt and cia and other official are international
    apache .
    American govt and foreign office accept that raymodavos was involved in some secret activity and working for CIA it is cofession of american govt after this confession how the american official demanding the release of raymondavos under the ammenty of geneva convention ,american govt voilate the rules and regulation of the geneva convention and send a CIA agent and black water killer and terrorist in disguise of diplomate I think american govt is accused a seprate case must be filed in pakistani courts along with international court.it is my advise the american quit other CIA and black water agents from pakistan as early as possible pakistani nation temprature going high day by day on issue of raymondavos and other invovlment pakistani know the suspecious
    activity of cia and black water terrorist and know about their residense and veichles and their local supporters.pakistani wants to award the sentense of death to raymondavous.thanks AYUBI Recommend

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