The government assured the parliament it will not be lenient in seeking ‘appropriate’ legal action against the detained American Raymond Davis who shot dead two Pakistani men in Lahore. “The law will definitely take its course. No one is allowed to breach it,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the National Assembly. A case for murder was registered against Raymond Davis. On Friday Raymond Davis was presented in court, where he said he was being robbed and only acted in self-defence. The court, after hearing initial arguments, ordered a six-day physical remand of the accused.
Rehman Malik’s assertion came in response to allegation by a PPP member that the interior minister tried to rescue the killer immediately after the incident, on Thursday afternoon. Noor Alam Khan, an MNA from Peshawar, said he had credible information that Malik made contacts with Lahore police to let the US National go. He did not mention his sources though. Though the matter has to be dealt with by provincial authorities, Malik offered to initiate a parliamentary inquiry into it.
On Thursday, Raymond Davis, an employee of the US Consulate in Lahore was involved in a shootout that resulted in the deaths of two Pakistani citizens, while a third was crushed to death by a jeep that came to his aid. According to police sources, Mr Davis tried to flee the scene but two traffic wardens intervened and escorted him to a nearby police station.
Several members from both the government and opposition parties demanded punishment for the foreigner while lawmakers from the Senate also set aside their party affiliations and asked the government not to succumb to any pressure and ensure a fair trial. Regarding the details of the case, Malik said the matter was being investigated and that an inquiry by the federal agencies had also been ordered to collect information about the American and the weapon he was carrying.
Anti-American sentiment is very strong in Pakistan. Mishandling of this incident will only make matters worse if not dealt objectively and justly. What come may the police and the court must be allowed to carry out their work without prejudice. The attack on sovereignty and killing three innocent people can not be justified if ‘appropriate’ legal action has not been taken. Further to stop the movement of such American at loose in Pakistan, a legal action can be right answer.