Pak Affairs

Stage being set for giving immunity to Raymond Davis

ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan is likely to favor U.S. consulate employee Raymond Davis, who was arrested for killing two Pakistanis, by telling the court about his right of diplomatic immunity. In the last couple of days, the offices of Pakistan’s foreign ministry, law ministry, presidency, and prime minister secretariat have been more active than any regular day to search any non-controversial way to favor Davis after the statement from U.S. President Barack Obama and the arrival of U.S. Senator John Kerry in Pakistan.

Unusual movements and discussions were seen at high level in under-pressure Islamabad after Obama on Tuesday stressed Pakistan to release Davis, whose case has created tension between the two allies in the war against terrorism.
“If our diplomats are in another country, then they are not subject to that country’s local prosecution.” Obama said at a press conference at the White House.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that Pakistan would not accept any pressure for the release of the American national as his case is in the court. Davis, who shot dead two Pakistanis on Jan. 27 in Lahore terming his act defensive, was sent to jail by a Pakistani court on Feb. 11 for a 14-day judicial remand.

The Lahore High Court on Thursday, which also monitors the case, once again barred the government to hand over the criminal to America. The U.S. has suspended all high-level talks with Pakistan. Pakistani media reported that some congressmen had also threatened to suspend aid packages to Pakistan.

U.S. Senator Kerry during his visit to Pakistan met President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose Muslim League- Nawaz party rules Punjab province, where Davis was arrested.

“I came here not to dictate but to listen carefully, and I hope the matter will be solved in a few days,” Kerry told reporters before leaving Pakistan while stressing the right of immunity under Clause 37 of the 1961 Vienna Convention for a consulate employee. Kerry also met Pakistan’s former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and tried to convince him to take back his earlier statement that Davis was not eligible for blanket immunity. But right after their meeting, Qureshi in a press conference showed his firmness over his earlier stance.

According to sources, a meeting between victims’ families and Kerry was also tried to be arranged but the former refused as they are not interested in compensation but justice.

Pakistan’s foreign secretary Salman Bashir has already said publicly that the Americans should not claim diplomatic immunity as their consulate employee is involved in a criminal activity.

Sources told media that the Foreign Office has sent a summary over the status of the Davis to the Law Ministry for formulating a legal position that would be taken before the Lahore High Court on the next hearing in the session court on Feb. 25. “No special favoring material was sent to the Law Ministry but the facts including international laws and communication between the foreign office and U.S. embassy in Islamabad, which may help the court to reach a decision,” an official said.

Experts in Pakistan believed that Pakistan’s current stance over the issue is creating public pressure on Obama which could lead to a clashing situation between the two countries. American officials are angry with the Pakistani government as they believe that the case should be dealt at administration level not in the court.

While on Tuesday Lahore police submitted a charge-sheet against double murder accused Raymond Davis in the court which states that Davis’ plea of killing in self-defense was false but it was an intentional murder. The charge-sheet further reads that guns recovered from the deceased was not loaded and they also did not point gun at the accused.

Police also recovered a GPS tracker, mobile phones, wireless sets, a survival kit, pistols, bullets and photographs of Pakistani army installations from Davis’ car while the culprit did not cooperate with the police during investigation, said the charge-sheet, which had statements of 47 eyewitnesses.

Police have requested the court to take action against the double murder accused under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which advises sentence of hang to death to the killer.

Input from Agencies

About the author

Noreen Gill

2 Comments

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • janab-a-editor sb,

    ppl who claim that we belong to sayed Ali r.a.h. since my childhood i observed from their activities all are against from hailya baait. 90 percent (who so-called shah ji) they full of evils things/activities. no one stranger can pass through their town or village where they having majority. ok now i come to the point. luckily our p.m. ji also shah ji. he said – i and my government is not under pressure while they deliberately gave the task to rehman malik and fouzia wahab to appear in front of media as witness that davis having immunity right being diplomat to kill our brother,sister,student,former anytime and any public place. shah ji, really you are shah ji – to take action against malik rehman malik and fouzia wahab ? while Pakistan foreign minister openly and clearly announced that Davis having no immunity ? this is your ppp rep. and responsible person. he is not child. but mr. asif ali zardar with your recommendation to oust him from the cabinet. shah, and asif ali zardar ji you both get lesson from hussanay mubarak and zain ul abdeen they have billion dollars in their accounts but they can not show their faces to in their own ppl and outer ppl. at the end both generation will face humiliation then their kids will be embrace suicide mission.

    no way to release Davis. American dollars can not change the mind of victims the poorest family Pakistan. then why you ppl sell us and our dignity as well as dignity of Pakistani flag. yaar ppl of Pakistan with you shah ji. what you else you get place in the world after Allah . this is last and the highest position that your are a prime minister and asif ali zardar is presedent of Pakistan. yaar think yaaro think – both will not come again on this position. never – yes, still both you having chance for two year. you all bring your money from Swiss banks and do the charity to ppl of pakistan. my beloved nabi took out dates from the mouth of grandson bcz. not halal sadqa or theft money on them as well as on you and your kidz too.

    dua go for pakistan
    rai zafar jarral
    17.02.2011