Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pakistan Holding Firm on "Raymond Davis" Case

Various Wires/News Sources indicate the following as of Sunday, 13 February 13, 2011, 00:09 Pakistan time:

*** Islamabad: Due to the 16-day stand-off between the US and Pakistan over an American official arrested for gunning down two men in Lahore a crucial trilateral meeting has been canceled. This meeting was to be held late February in US to discuss the emerging situation in Afghanistan.

***The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of US, Pakistan and Afghanistan is "most likely being rescheduled" allegedly according to Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said today to the Diplomatic Correspondents of Pakistan. During this quickly assembled meeting, Bashir also said that there were "no clear dates" for President Barack Obama's visit to Pakistan though "this has been talked of for a long time."

***Some Reports have said recently that the US has suspended ALL HIGH-LEVEL contacts to pressure Pakistan to release American official Raymond Davis, who was arrested in Lahore on January 27 after he shot and killed two men who he claimed were trying to rob him.

***Confusion has surrounded the diplomatic status of Davis, a former military personnel, and the identity of the two men he killed - although perhaps less confusion on the part of Pakistan authorities than on the part of the US officials who are not accepting carefully gathered information from the Pakistanis.

***Bashir added that the pressure mounted by the US for Davis's release was "counter-productive" and said that this could adversely impact bilateral ties.
He said adamantly that Davis' case was in (Pakistan) court and would be decided according to Pakistani laws.

*** Poignantly, Bashir added: "If I were personally to do something which is morally wrong or even criminal, (something) that is not right by civilized standards, then I (would) not seek immunity or seek protection under some figment like the concept of immunity." (He was likely referring to past 15-16 days of confusion which may have been stirred largely by the US military officials.)

***Diplomatic Immunity has a long history and is not limited to the Vienna Convention and Pakistani laws. The US has said dogmatically that Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity. Thus, Bashir indicated that such a ruling could and should be an "executive determination"that could and should be made by Pakistan's Foreign Office. Bashir said that the Lahore High Court, which is hearing a case related to Davis' immunity, had stated that "this question has not arisen and it is the court's prerogative to take (this up) if the issue is raised."

*** Tactfully, Bashir expressed the hope that the Lahore incident will not be "blown out of proportion and affect our bilateral relationship. It is an important relationship with the US, Pakistan values that relationship," he said, adding,
"We hope that nothing will be said or done that will be detrimental to this relationship that we want to have with the US. In Islamabad we are very clear; we hope they are equally clear in Washington.

***Quite striking was one of Bashir's ending comments: "It will be extremely counter-productive if one incident, one person destroys a relationship of 60 years," he added. (Pakistani leaders have been quite unified in rebuffing US demands for Davis to be freed despite warning by American lawmakers that the issue could lead to cuts in civil and military aid.)

***Davis is currently in Pakistani judicial custody and police have rejected his claim of acting in self-defense. In fact, on a 'charge-sheet', Pakistani police accused Davis of "intentional and cold-blooded murder".

For more items JUST IN and earlier notes on this case and issues involved, plz GO
to item entitled: "US should stop threatening in Raymond Davis case", says Altaf
Online - International News Network with 3 related articles. Also see article called "No one including Raymond Davis above law" by Rehman Malik
Online - International News Network with 9 related article

Find earlier post just below and notes at No More Crusades for February 7th with subject heading "UPDATED: The Raymond Davis case"

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