Pak Affairs

U.S. Ambassador asks Zardari for early release of Raymond Davis

ISLAMABAD: In an effort to raise pressure on Pakistan to release U.S. official, Washington Ambassador in Pakistan Cameron Munter called on President Asif Ali Zardari and discussed the issue with him. Sources said the U.S. envoy demanded Pakistani authorities release the gunman Raymond Davis, saying he has diplomatic immunity under Vienna Convention and is being illegally detained.

However, President Asif Ali Zardari clearly told the U.S. that the matter is sub-judice and “It would be prudent to wait for the legal course to be completed.” Davis shot dead two armed men in what US says ‘self-defense’. Another person was killed when he was struck by an American car rushing to the scene to help Raymond Davis.

The shootings have stoked anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. Such feelings are further inflamed by Shumaila Kanwal’s suicide, the widow of Faheem Ahmed, one of two Pakistanis gunned down by Davis in Lahore last month. Out of sheer frustration that her husband’s killer would be freed she committed suicide by eating rat poison Sunday. “I do not expect any justice from this government,” said Kanwal in a statement recorded by the doctor. “That is why I want to kill myself.”

Relatives of the men who were allegedly shot by Davis have participated in several protests in Lahore, including one Thursday outside the U.S. consulate where demonstrators shouted “Hang the American killer!” A majority say the two men were innocent Pakistanis rather than thieves who were attempting to rob Davis. But the U.S. Embassy has said the men had criminal backgrounds and had robbed money and valuables at gunpoint from a Pakistani citizen in the same area minutes before the shootings.

According to American Media, Raymond Davis runs a Florida-based security company named M/s Hyperion Protective Consultants. The undercover Security Company has resemblance with Blackwater.

Input from Agencies

About the author

Azhar Masood

Azhar Masood is Controller of News in PTV, and Chief Instructor of PTV Academy, working for Arab News. He has Covered Iraq War from Baghdad for CNN, BBC, FOX News, and Al-Jazeera and other regional channels. He covered conflict in Bosnia Herzegovina. He interviewed Yasir Arafat of Palestine, Paul Wolfoweit, Prime Minister Jean Ghteyan of Canada, Dr. Amar Musa of Egypt, Mr. Haris Slajic, Prime Minister of Bosnia Dr. Akbar Ali Vallayati, former Foreign Minister of Iran, President Kumaratunge of Sri Lanka, Mr. Kumar Su Bramanyem, Director of National Defence Institute of India, Mr. Hamid Karzai President of Afghanistan, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi of Iraq National Congress, Mr. Hoshyar Zubari, Vice President Kurdish Democratic Party of Iraq

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