Expected agitation: US Embassy, consulates closed

One day closure "for public safety at large becaus­e there may be demons­tratio­ns".


Express March 18, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The United States will shut its embassy and consulates in Pakistan until further notice, asking its diplomats to limit their movements, in anticipation of protests against the release of CIA operative Raymond Davis. Protests against the release began on Wednesday night, alarming US officials. The protests in front of the US consulate in Lahore turned violent, leaving 19 people, including four police officers, injured.


The news that further protests were planned led US officials to decide on the closure. The embassy issued a formal notice announcing the closure of US diplomatic missions for routine business in Pakistan until further notice.

US Embassy Spokesperson Alberto Rodriguez said that visa appointments would continue, though the embassy would not be conducting any other business. Rodriguez did not give a date for reopening but said that services will reopen all over Pakistan at the same time.

Davis wife speaks out

Rebecca Davis, Raymond Davis’ wife, on Thursday said she is confident her husband acted in self-defence when he shot and killed two Pakistani men, Faizan Haider and Muhammad Faheem.

She said she was also sure her husband would return to the US but did not know when. When asked about the blood money, she said that she was unaware of the amount or the source of the funds.

Rebecca also claimed to have received letters from Davis, but was not able to speak to him while he was incarcerated. She said she learned about her husband’s acquittal through phone calls from people who she did not name.

MQM’s Altaf Hussain speaks out

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain has demanded that the Punjab government release the families of the men who were shot by Raymond Davis in Lahore. Even the father of Shumaila, the deceased wife of Fahim, is missing and should be released immediately, he said.

In a statement issued from London, Hussain condemned the alleged detention and torture of Shumaila’s father, uncle and other family members. He said this behaviour violates the laws of Sharia and human rights. Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif should have provided protection to these families and made efforts to give them justice, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2011.


COMMENTS (37)

LOL | 10 years ago | Reply The hypocrisy in Pakistan is of epic proportions. On the one hand, the average, illiterate and bigoted Pakistani wants Sharia law. They want women to have no rights. They want minorities to have no rights. However, when Sharia law is applied to let an American free, they are up in arms to protest the use of it. As an outsider, all one can do is Laugh Out Loud. Pakistan is not "becoming" a joke. Pakistan is a joke.
Loser | 10 years ago | Reply Hundreds of peoples are being killed almost daily in urban metropolis karachi,suicide bombings, targeted killings,rape,looting,scores of missings. This was our social contract with the state founded 60 years back.Nato shooting on border post..........stop Nato supplies.....Cooperation....intelligence sharing......unleashed the hordes of media dogs creating anti-Americanism.just the killing of 4 personal on border post. But what if civilians are being killed daily like dogs........No security..... No protection....for we bloody cilians.....Pakistan army private limited and its subsidiary law enforcement agencies are the real mafias.....more concerned for fellow mercenaries...........than we blood civilans....
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