Davis acquittal: A release three weeks in the making

Published: March 17, 2011
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Punjab government pressurised heirs to accept blood money in return for pardoning Davis. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Punjab government pressurised heirs to accept blood money in return for pardoning Davis. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LAHORE: 

The federal and provincial governments, and the intelligence agencies, had been working since February 21 to ensure Raymond Davis’ release through the Qisas and Diyat laws, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Three weeks ago, the Interior Ministry sought the particulars including the addresses of the family members of the men Davis shot so it could contact them and prepare their passports, sources said.

The Punjab government, meanwhile, used police and other officials to put pressure on the heirs of the deceased to accept payment of blood money in return for pardoning Davis, the sources said.

The sources said that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had assured US Senator John Kerry when he visited Pakistan in mid-February that even if the federal government did not produce documents in the Lahore High Court showing Davis to have diplomatic immunity, the Punjab government would help get the CIA contractor pardoned through the payment of Diyat.

The sources said that the federal and provincial governments and the country’s intelligence agencies all agreed on one thing: that Davis must  be released via the courts through the payment of Diyat to minimise the public uproar at his release.

They said that they had made a secret agreement on February 21 to facilitate the release of Davis in this manner. Around this time, the US authorities also began preparing to fulfil the formalities regarding compensation and visas, the sources said.

Neighbours of the families say that their houses had been locked for the last two days and they had not been seen. Lawyer Asad Manzoor Butt, who represented them at the previous hearing, said he had been trying to contact them since March 14 but their phones were off.

When Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was asked by a reporter in London yesterday about the provincial government allegedly kidnapping the family, Sharif denied this and told the reporter to ask the federal government.

Meanwhile, according to Daily Express, Davis travelled on a special US plane from Lahore airbase to Bagram and the Intelligence Bureau and police were not in the loop. He was flown out without an exit stamp on his passport.

The Allama Iqbal Airport’s radar system received a short message on Wednesday that a special aircraft would touch down at the PAF base. Airport officials were told nothing else.

Quoting sources, Daily Express said that under instructions from sensitive agencies, the Punjab chief secretary, home secretary, inspector general of police and inspector general of prisons crafted the exit plan on March 15.

The sources added that the families of Faizan and Faheem had been shifted to Islamabad via the Motorway. They would first be taken to Dubai since the issuance of US visas would take time.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Tariq Ahmad
    Mar 17, 2011 - 7:37AM

    What a religionRecommend

  • Asad
    Mar 17, 2011 - 7:44AM

    a mockery of our “judicial system”…
    a manipulation of the Shariat Law…
    a spine-less, double-crossing “leadership”…
    a shameless people…
    a hopeless “nation”…Recommend

  • Truth_Prevails
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:06AM

    So the Americans have used “Shariah Laws” to get thier guy out and they are happy about the usefullness of these Laws. Why not implement them in USA? Change USA to UISA [United Islamic States of America] and then there will be no more point left for Al Qaeda or any other organization to conduct “terrorist” activities.
    America will save trillions & trillions of dollars, a very small portion of which could uplift the lives of many masses around the world.Recommend

  • muhammad riaz
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:11AM

    The real people responsible for raymond’s release are the families of the victims who while crying on all the tv channels for 2 months that they wanted the american dead,stood up in court in front of the killer of their son,brother,husband & took the money & one by one stated before the judge that they had forgiven raymond davis.The heirs are the ones who let him go,who let him escape pakistan in return for crores of rupees.

    The same america who they had been cursing for 2 months as cruel & imperialistic,now they had no second thoughts in accepting nationality residence of that same cruel,murderous America!!!

    All the authorities,politicians could have done nothing if the families had not sold out pakistan,in the end the issue got resolved because of the families taking the crores of rupees.Recommend

  • Nasir
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:16AM

    Amazing. Look how the Americans used the Islamic Laws as their last resort in favor of their business. Why not America seeks solution to other miseries and issues in this world in the context of Islamic teachings????Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:18AM

    David Ignatius, Senior Correspondent of Washington Post was asked by the BBC on the fallout on the Government of Pakistan (GOP) from protesters on RD’s release? He replied, “the GOP has been working on RD’s release for quite some time. It is the hypocrisy of GOP that publicly it tells its own people a story which is different to what it says to the US. Just like they do in the case of drone attacks.”

    What does the Pakistani public expect? It has all come out in WikiLeaks on GOP’s posturing. What are the protesters going to do?? Burn a few flags and effigies. Some acrimonious debate on TV and life will be business as usual. Now if there was a revolution in the country that would be a different matter. Recommend

  • mudasar
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:25AM

    Wah re Pakistan. I thank my grandfather who made conscious choice in 1947 to stay backing India when all his siblings left for this so called ‘land of pure’ he face tough situations so many other hindu/refugees coming from Pakistan. Today after several trips to many countries because of my job offered by growing economy I am happily settled while my cousins in park sweating in Dubai heat and desperately trying to get out of Pakistan.some of my Pakistan friends still call me 3rd class citizen but I m loving this 3rd class citizenship. The idealistic culture of Punjabi is imposed on Pakistan and it is literally destroying the countryRecommend

  • FKH
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:28AM

    Nawaz Please dont bother to come back to Pakistan as PML-N-Q, PPP, MQM, ANP, JUI and all the political parties are the main party for this move, wh=ith their help and media confidence this would not be happening.Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:31AM

    What kind of justice one can expect from a sold government when people in the government at every level comprise the national interest against US Dollars.

    I curse myself as why I am called a Pakistani.

    Pakistan neither is a sovereign nation, nor independent. For the sake of US Dollars, Pakistanis can even sell their mothers to US government. Recommend

  • pakbeg
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:47AM

    with this news article every punjabi minister and government
    machinery will be targetted by talebanRecommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:50AM

    All was done according to the Islamic Laws and moreover by our Azaaaaaaaaad Adliya and their men in establishment so please no more “Crocodile Tears”. By the way where are Sharif Brothers ????????Recommend

  • satyram
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:21AM

    The families of those two Pakistani youth killed by Davis got only six crore. Today morning I was reading a news in a News paper that in China a dog was sold for approx. Rs. 10 Crore.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:23AM

    In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, everything went according to the Sharia law. It is a win win situation for everybody. Muzdoor ka pasina khushk hone se pehle usko maal mil gaya!

    Usaully non Muslims are at the short end of the Islamic laws. It is about time that a rich and powerful non Musalim should benefit from the Islamic Sharia laws. It is all kosher and up and up, nothing unlawful or unislamic about it.

    We have to surrender to the Islamic laws and cannot pick and choose the verdict. The Punjab Govt, free judiciary, army and all helped solved this problem amicably. What is this fuss all about? Grow up.

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • Sumair
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:28AM

    Shame on all of us.. They must have bargained also if their bother, sister , father or mother got killed or raped. Dead souls with the greed of slavery and money..Recommend

  • ummear khan
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:29AM

    Families of Faizan and Faheem took right decision every one have to right for better future and this is a fact that now there Son/husband/brother never cameback Recommend

  • N M Chaudhry
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:30AM

    raymond davis, an american terrorist, has been released due to the threats received from number one terrorist country, usa (america). Current Pakistani rulers are coward. They only want to secure their seats as president and pm. They do not think about the nation but they only think about money. They are not Pakistani but are the agents (puppets) of usa. They should also leave Pakistan among raymond davis. Current rulers are very selfish. They should also be punished severely. They are the culprits.

    Please publish this as it is because current Pakistani rulers are corrupt. They need punishment from the public openly.

    This is the voice of every Pakistani. Do not hesitate in publishing this.Recommend

  • Farhan Qureshi
    Mar 17, 2011 - 10:00AM

    Indicted, and then acquitted? The power of Mighty Dollar is very powerful. The real truth will be revealed years from now, as to what actually took place.

    It is all a show to confuse the public. I don’t believe any of it. Raymond Davis is a CIA operative who got caught in a mess. So, in order not to upset the Pakistani people more than they already are, some story has to be told.

    @FMQureshi1979 (Twitter)Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Mar 17, 2011 - 10:08AM

    Raymond Davis shouldn’t have been on trial for double murder only… he was a CIA contractor, as confirmed by BBC as well, and was involved with espionage. He should have been charged with espionage and related crimes. But our sell-out government doesn’t have the mettle to try an American for espionage, and in the end, they did what they knew they could only do, force the victims families into “pardoning” the CIA contractor…
    The government… inlcuding federal and punjab, are fully involved and I guarantee this American will bring down the whole government with him.Recommend

  • vasan
    Mar 17, 2011 - 10:54AM

    One of the most interesting serial, better than the Mumbai TV serials. What happened to the Independent judiciary, ISI’s ranting about the uncooperative CIA, Foreign minister Qureshi’s leaving. All crumbled in front of the Sharia law. Welcome to TALIBANISTAN. Poor Pak govt, they dont have enough money to buy out their hunchman Ajmal kasab. Wonder what the price would be. Recommend

  • SK
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:07AM

    Pakistan for sale and going cheap (may be free) in the process!!!
    When the head is rotten, body is bound to rot…………
    Frustrating to the core. I am sure even so called liberals of this country will start turning extremist and I am sure with every passing day hate against US and all its slaves in Pakistan is growing exponentially and near is the day when people will physically start ripping these people in piecesRecommend

  • Syed imran
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:25AM

    Media and politicians have made a drama out of an incident which was destained to have the ending it had.
    Was it possible for Pakistan to Hang an American the answer is a big NO.
    Was it possible to imprison him for life and keep him in jail for that long, the answer is a big NO.
    The only option was to give it the ending which came about that is that the Heirs recieve a Diyat and the case gets closed.

    For a country which begs every moment to run its financial affairs ( due to Misgovernance and Corruption) is it possible to be in a stand off position for long?

    All those who are crying hoarse should first take stock of themselves and see what have they contributed towards the betterment of the poor of this country. Their only cotribution is loot,plunder,misgovernance and misleading the masses.

    Better it would be to keep shut as a begger nation can not guard its self respect and soverignity.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:31AM

    We have now set a precedence where agencies whether our own or foreign operating in this war of terrorizing the comman persons of Pakistan can get away with murder through enforced
    Sharia law of Qasas and Diyat!
    We have made mockery of sharia with help of the courts and how proud is our government?Recommend

  • sahil
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:46AM

    Sadly This country gas a grim futureRecommend

  • Ali
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:50AM

    Lol, the bride back to her home catching people toally offguard, Now the nation will keep beating the drums , but what is gone is gone now … stay happy Devoo :)Recommend

  • waseem
    Mar 17, 2011 - 12:49PM

    A Sad and emotional outburst and attitude of our ordinary Pakistanis. We are forgetting that Diyat law is an Islamic law. In Islam this is compensation for the cost of dead one. There is nothing to do with greed and selling of ghariat. Only thing which was wrong that these heirs were asking for hanging of Devis few days before deal brokered. They should own the deal and stand for it being Islamic. Here role of our intelligence agencies are question marked. Without consent of these agencies this deal cannot be materialized and our agencies forget the whole episode of spying issue which was bone of contention between ISI and CIA. They should clarify what benefits Pakistan will get throu this deal.Recommend

  • Twisteratti
    Mar 17, 2011 - 1:20PM

    Davis committed a crime …… and he was not AQUITTED. ….. He was released under certain provisions of the Shariah law.Recommend

  • ali
    Mar 17, 2011 - 1:29PM

    America is very smart and genious. He used and preapres taliban in thename of islam agiants Russia and doing same . Got Davis using islamic law.
    I dont understand why our so called islamic party leaders are angry.
    all the things done under Shira law.

    As per my opinion they were on baord and now making people fool by coimng on streets and calling for strike. After all they have to win election in the name of islam.as PPP made fool in the name of BB.

    Its not the leaders it the people who rae responsible of every thing.
    Shame on usRecommend

  • verming
    Mar 17, 2011 - 2:11PM

    @Asad:

    My dear friend what about the ARMY & ISI ,be bold man.
    Your Generals can discuss the budget which they have no right to, but they conveniently
    passed the blame for release of Davis to the political leadership .Now tell us who is SPINELESS.Recommend

  • verming
    Mar 17, 2011 - 2:19PM

    @N M Chaudhry:
    Current rulers are neither selfish.nor they should be punished severely. They are not the culprits.for they have all the responsibility with little or no authority Blame those who enjoy the real authority(GENERALS)Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Mar 17, 2011 - 2:32PM

    We must not forget “No money no water” and later on “This is Nestle di botal”. Some were calling him Diamond, Rehman Davis and one further went to the extent by calling him “Sharif Davis”. There is a Punjabi song ” Mainu nooot vakha, Maira mood bnay”. So all were paid accordingly so stop burning your own properties on this issue. We wanted that our Azaaaaad Adliya must decide it so they did it according and also in line with the teachings of Islam.Recommend

  • FF
    Mar 17, 2011 - 3:29PM

    Pakistani’s are consistently making jokes and mocking Jews, but then sell their justice for money. The concept of blood money is about as pathetic as it can get in a civil society that is already at an all time low. Great message to be sending to the world:

    If you shoot and kill a poor persons family member in Pakistan, don’t worry, they’ll be paid for the loss of their loved ones. In USD of course, with an ever fluctuating exchange rate, who would want Pakistani ruppees anyway. Right?

    Don’t go on hating the USA, they just beat Pakistan at their own game and won. Again. Recommend

  • Kevin Fernandes
    Mar 17, 2011 - 5:00PM

    Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi must be the only losing stakeholder in all this drama….he must be cursing himself nowRecommend

  • Mar 17, 2011 - 5:06PM

    Why there has been no uproar on many instances when Diyat is paid in Pakistani courts – a practice done everyday. Recommend

  • haris f
    Mar 17, 2011 - 5:08PM

    @muhammad riaz: If you were one of them and your whole family has been kidnapped for days while at the same enormous pressure has been put on you from american puppies (our politicians) then you would also not make any hurdles in the way of the release.
    correct or I better should say, ‘collect’ the facts before making allegations.Recommend

  • A.R.Osman
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:38PM

    Can anyone tell me why the media did not mentioned the fact that the two guys killed by Raymond were found with guns and were trying to get him before they met their fate. This was reported by all TV channels including a senior police officer at the time of incident. But latter, the whole episode and the face of it was changed. WHY? Has our powerful moneymaking media ever asked what Afia was doing in Afghanistan leaving her family behind? or Why the Lal Masjid occupiers had accumulated arms and ammunition in a place of worship.Or why Karachi was burned in four hours after Benazir was killed in Rawalpindi? Why the media did not support Sherry Rehman to present the blasphemy bill in parliament instead giving airtime to worthless religious bigots and Hamid Gul. May be our media has their own agenda which is very unfortunate as they are failing their responsibility to promote a balanced and liberal society. Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:17AM

    This whole episode proves that UNITED STATES OFAMERICA has new pedigree DOBERMAN without teeth or Brains in South East Asia, Namely So called Soveriegn Nation PAKISTAN!! As Long As Arms & Money keeps arriving at their door step!!!!
    Not a nice pet, but convienant at present for their needs.
    There is nothing soveriegn about this nation! not even the dog collar, uncle sam has tied on its neck!!!!Recommend

  • apples
    Mar 18, 2011 - 3:46AM

    I remember an american politician going to the extent of saying pakis sell their mothers for 20 dollars and it made me hellish mad back then but now at this point in time I keep wondering why I got so mad back then at that politician because he was probably not wrong about most of the people in Pakistan…. Today I feel ashamed to be a Pakistani…Recommend

  • wasif
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:34PM

    there is none better then u working in investigation journalism field. keep it up man.Recommend

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