Pakistan

Shahbaz denies govt’s role in Raymond Davis’ release

LAHORE: With the recently-published book of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee Raymond Davis triggering new political storm in the country, Punjab Chief Minister denied his government’s role in facilitating the spy’s escape from the country.

While speaking to journalists, Shahbaz Sharif categorically denied the PML-N government’s involvement in arranging the safe escape for Davis, who was allowed to leave the country after killing two men in Lahore in 2011.

He said his elder brother Nawaz Sharif was not holding the rein of power at the time of the CIA employee’s escape. “Who arranged his escape from the country? Who paid blood money? Which bank transacted money to the legal heirs of those murdered by Davis? the Punjab government did not know.”

The chief minister said the injured of the Ahmed Pur Sharqia inferno were being provided best possible care. He added the burns units across the province were working properly.

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 recently penned down his memoir titled “The Contractor: How I Landed in a Pakistani Prison and Ignited a Diplomatic Crisis.”  He offers an up-close and personal look at the incident that led to his imprisonment and eventual escape that led to a diplomat crisis.

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