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Raymond Davis case: Federal Govt, Punjab to adopt joint stance

Raymond Davis1 Raymond Davis case: Federal Govt, Punjab to adopt joint stance

Raymond Davis

The federal and the Punjab governments have decided to adopt joint stance over the issue of US accused Raymond Davis arrested in connection with the death of two Pakistanis in Lahore.

Both the governments have decided that the accused will not be handed over to the Unites States till investigations into the incident were completed.

Sources privy to the development said on Sunday that, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik will meet Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and discuss investigations into the incident.

The Punjab government, sources said, has contacted the US embassy for obtaining information about Raymond Davis and it has sent a questionnaire in this regard.

The questionnaire sought information about the persons who fled in the second vehicle, which had come for the protection of Raymond Davis and crushed another youth.

Meanwhile, Members belonging to opposition parties in the National Assembly and the Senate have drawn up plans to strongly raise the issue of killing of two Pakistanis in Lahore by American national Raymond Davis when the two houses resume their sitting on Monday afternoon.

Sources privy to the strategies of PML-N, PML-Q, JUI (F), MQM and Jamaat-e-Islami said the parties would take up the issue and the pressure of the US Embassy for the immediate release of Raymond Davis and would press for a full debate by suspending other business in the two houses.

The PML-N Government in Punjab, where the incident took place has refused to give in to the pressure. Though the Foreign Office categorically rejected the demand for the handing over of the American national, the legislatures are worried that the government would succumb to US pressure under one pretext or the other.

The Parliamentarians would seek a categorical assurance from the Government that Raymond Davis would be tried in Pakistan according to law of the land. They said they would in no way allow Raymond Davis’s deportation to the United States citing examples that many Pakistanis including Dr Aafia Siddiqi are in American jails and they are not being deported to Pakistan.

In Karachi Sindh National Front Chairman Mumtaz Ali Bhutto said if the United States is not ready to release innocent Pakistani citizen Dr. Aafia Siddiqui then how it is pressurizing Pakistan for giving immunity to American citizen, who has killed two persons in Lahore.

Talking to various delegations who called on him at his residence, Mumtaz Bhutto reminded that the United States should not forget that diplomats of several countries have borne severe punishments in the Unites States and till today it never pardoned anyone.

Analysts say the case of an American national who shot two Pakistanis dead in Lahore this week has escalated into a diplomatic standoff. U.S. officials in this capital city said the man, Raymond A. Davis, was a diplomat who fired in self-defense and qualified for immunity from prosecution.

Law enforcement authorities in Punjab province, where the shooting took place Thursday, had made no effort to verify his diplomatic status before arresting and detaining him, in violation of international conventions, officials said. “You don’t treat a diplomat like another person. You don’t arraign them before a court.

That’s serious, too, and this will escalate,” a senior U.S. official said Saturday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue., a report in Washington Post said on Sunday.

The official said Pakistani authorities had not allowed American officials access to Davis until midnight Friday, “a pretty big breach of protocol.” A senior Pakistani government official said Davis’s diplomatic status was “not clear at all.

The dueling statements signaled a deepening dispute between the United States and Pakistan – tenuous allies whose partnership is acutely unpopular among the Pakistani public – over an incident that has become enmeshed in broader tensions in the relationship.

Pakistani government officials, who are often accused of being puppets of the United States, have vowed not to give Davis special treatment and insisted that the legal process run its course. The main opposition party, which runs the Punjab provincial government, has cast itself as even more defiant, and the senior U.S. official described officials there as particularly uncooperative.

The Pakistani government official said investigators were focusing on why Davis, whom the U.S. Embassy said was assigned to Islamabad, was in Lahore and armed.

The senior U.S. official said Davis was a “permanent diplomat” who was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad as a security officer. Davis was temporarily working at the U.S. consulate in Lahore, the official said. But he was not permitted to carry a weapon, the official said.

(Pakistan Observer Report)

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