KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party spokesman Fouzia Wahab said Monday that the arrested American Raymond Davis has diplomatic immunity. At a press conference on Monday, Fouzia said that the “Vienna Convention grants diplomatic immunity to diplomatic as well as technical staff”. She said that under Pakistani law PLD 1972 all diplomats enjoy immunity.
“Pakistan is a signatory of the Vienna Convention and we must keep the law in mind before giving emotional statements,” she said, adding that “the courts are now looking at the case and would decide accordingly”. She pointed out that along with Raymond Davis 1 million Pakistanis working in U.S. should have also been considered. She added that U.S is the largest market of Pakistani products and 80 percent of revenue comes from U.S.
She said under the present circumstances Pakistan has to abide by the law and we can not afford damaging our diplomatic ties with U.S. In response to a question, Fouzia said that then foreign minister “Shah Mehmood Qureshi had violated party discipline by issuing irresponsible statements on such a sensitive issue”. While former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. envoy to Pakistan Cameron Munter telephoned him and put pressure to “confirm diplomatic immunity for Raymond although it was not confirmed by Foreign Office records”.
She told media about former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s absence from New Federal Cabinet as prerogative of the party leadership to decide on what task was to be given to its members and they were obliged to accept it.
She expressed her views on rifts within party that PPP is united and predictions would prove false about party’s fall. She said the PPP is the only political force with national support in all provinces besides as symbol of the Federation, PPP is capable of uniting the Federation.
However President Asif Ali Zardari’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar dismissed his Fauzia’s statement, calling it her personal view. “This is neither the policy of the party nor the government,” Babar told AFP. The government and party have “made it very clear that Raymond Davis’ case is before court and the court will decide the issue”, he said.
Interestingly analysts are viewing this move a shift in Government’s policy towards Raymond Davis case in wake of U.S. pressure to release Raymond Davis. More of the political analysts are viewing Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s absence from Federal Cabinet indicating change. He has refused on principal grounds to confirms Raymond Davis immunity therefore he was excluded from good books of U.S. Thus if his absence does not authenticate fact that PPP’s government is going to change its policy on Raymond Davis, it provides enough food for thought to Pakistan.