Pakistan

Khawaja Asif endorses calls for probe into Raymond Davis acquittal

Raymond Davis

ISLAMABAD: Over the demand of re-investigating Raymond Davis case, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Friday said that he would stand with the parliament if it wants to reopen the case, ARY News reported.

Speaking in a Senate session, Asif said that the issue should be raised with regard to compromises that were made to give a safe-passage to United States (US) national.

“The matter should not be highlighted for point-scoring only; [as] it won’t be constructive rather than in-camera grilling sessions or public investigation on the issue,” he emphasized.

Asif opined that decision makers in their respective personal capacities and institutions should also be made part of the investigation for assisting an American national to flee from Pakistan after murdering two local citizens.

However, he ruled out involvement of state institutions in the matter. “People may have their personal interests relating the case and their international commitments,” he remarked.

On the occasion, he claimed that the Pakistani government had paid money to free Raymond Davis.

READ ALSO: Why free online distribution of Raymond Davis’ book?

On January 27, 2011, Davis was arrested for murder of two men, Faizan and Faheem, near Mozang Chowk in Lahore. A case was registered at the Lytton Police Station after he was chased by the Police.

Davis said that he acted in self-defence and the men shot were robbers who had been arrested more than fifty times on various charges and were carrying stolen mobile phones and unlicensed guns.

This created a diplomatic standoff as the US pressed for diplomatic immunity for Davis. The matter was settled after Davis was pardoned for blood money worth $2.4mn which is the largest in the history of Pakistan.

Davis was released on March 16, 2011 and quickly flown out of Pakistan after the heirs of the two men he had shot dead told the Lahore High Court they had accepted monetary compensation to settle the case.

Davis revealed that he later found out that the plan to secure his release had been hatched several weeks before. He disclosed the names of the top government and state institutions’ officials playing pivotal role his getting released from the Lahore prison.

Davis, in his book, had mentioned the relations between the intelligence agencies of the two countries were already distraught after Leon Panetta was surprisingly appointed as Director of CIA and the incident further escalated the tensions.

Davis claimed that his book had been approved by the CIA after major redaction, which delayed it by more than a year. He said the top US military leadership had a secret meeting in Muscat, Oman to secure his release.

Raymond Davis was released after forty-nine days. The incident led to widespread protests in Pakistan demanding action against Davis. Almost a month after the incident, US officials revealed Davis was a contractor of the CIA.

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