Washington has called on Islamabad to expeditiously resolve the case of Raymond Davis. The way both Washington and Islamabad have treated the issue in the past few days raises questions. After a confused stand by State Department Spokesman Crowley soon after the event that the identity of the arrested American had been misrepresented, the US embassy maintained that Davis enjoyed immunity under the Vienna Convention. Interior Minister Rehman maintained the case was with the courts now who would decide the fate of the accused. Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar maintained that Davis would not be released despite foreign pressure.
The FO maintained silence as if the matter did not concern it. Meanwhile, all sorts of questions were raised by the media both in the US and Pakistan. The ABC News reported that Davis was in fact an employee of Hyperion Protective Consultants, a private security firm. Pakistan embassy in Washington was even unaware of his illegal stay in Pakistan. While both Washington and Islamabad have failed to come up with anything solid, the religious parties and extremist groups had a field day turning the matter into a volatile issue. Protest marches have been taken out and demands made to hang the man and to initiate a countrywide movement to overthrow the government if he is set free. Raising the issue in the House, Senator Talha claimed that US officials are at sensitive Pakistani installations under the cover of diplomats. Meanwhile, the judicial magistrate hearing the case has remanded Davis to police custody for another eight days while the Lahore High Court has ordered his name to be put on the ECL.
After more than a week, Rehman Malik has conceded that Davis was issued a diplomatic visa. Why was the matter not clarified in a day or two after the arrest? A number of questions are particularly disturbing. Was it not necessary for those issuing the diplomatic visa to investigate the background of the man? Again, do diplomats have a license to kill citizens in the host country? And finally what has the government, federal or provincial, done to recover the SUV and its driver, called for support by Davis, who killed a third person? Do the drivers of the vehicles of US consulate also carry diplomatic visas? – Pakistan today