Decision on Davis delayed ....says what?

  • A court in Pakistan has delayed a hearing to decide whether an American who shot dead two men in Lahore last month has diplomatic immunity. The arrest of Raymond Davis has severely damaged relations between the countries. Much of the detail in the case remains unclear - the BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan looks at some of the unanswered questions.

    Is Raymond Davis a diplomat?

    If you are thinking of a suavely dressed man in a three-piece suit who holds meetings with local officials to further or broaden his country's agenda, you would be wrong. Mr Davis was definitely not employed for his diplomatic skills - he is more a "hands-on" person, working in what the US embassy says is its "administrative and technical affairs section". Reports from the US say he is a former special forces soldier who left the military in 2003 and is working for the US embassy in Pakistan. As such, the US insists he is covered by the Vienna Convention which guarantees immunity from prosecution for all diplomatic staff.

    Could he be a spy?

    Many Pakistanis believe he is - there seem few other credible explanations as to why he was going around Lahore with a Glock pistol in a car with local number plates without informing local authorities. It is a requirement for embassy staff - especially those from Western embassies - to inform local police of their movements, simply because they are prime targets for militants in Pakistan. Mr Davis's department in the US embassy is widely seen in Pakistan as a cover for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operations. Mr Davis himself said he was a consultant employed by the US government. Researchers in the US say that since leaving the military, Mr Davis worked for a security firm called Hyperion LLC. But subsequent investigations by the US media have now shown that Hyperion exists only as a website. The offices that the company says it has in Orlando have been vacant for several years and the numbers on its website are unlisted.

    Mr Davis insists he was acting in self-defence Can Mr Davis be convicted for the murders?

    Maybe. It all depends on how eager the Pakistani authorities are to punish him. The fact that he is possibly a spy does not mean he is not covered by diplomatic immunity. It is common practice for intelligence services across the world to send operatives under the cover of assignments to embassies. Both Pakistani and US "diplomats" have been caught in such situations - and every time have been asked to leave the host country immediately with no possibility of a return. That is the maximum punishment that has been levied in the overwhelming majority of cases in countries which have signed the Vienna Convention. However, in some countries there are exceptions for serious offences committed, such as murder. Pakistan is one of those countries. The matter is now in the hands of the judiciary. But it is important to remember that Mr Davis has been charged with murder - the maximum sentence here is the death penalty.

    Should Mr Davis have been carrying a gun?

    Legally speaking, only Pakistani citizens with licences issued by the interior ministry are allowed to carry arms. No foreigner is allowed to carry arms, except soldiers or guards within the premises of an embassy. Both Pakistani nationals and foreigners caught carrying arms can be charged under a Pakistani criminal law which stipulates a jail term of six months to two years in addition to a fine. Mr Davis has also been charged under this law.

    Matters were further inflamed by the suicide of the widow of one of the men killed by Mr Davis Was he acting in self-defence?

    That was the initial plea made by Mr Davis and the US embassy. However, subsequent investigations by the police, forensic labs and the local and international media suggest that the two men were driving away from Mr Davis when they were shot. In February Lahore's police chief said that Mr Davis was guilty of "cold-blooded murder" - he said that no fingerprints had been uncovered on the triggers of the pistols found on the bodies of the two men. Furthermore he said that tests had shown that the bullets remained in the magazines of their guns, not the chambers, suggesting they weren't about to shoot him. On the face of it, this leaves Mr Davis's claim that they were robbers - with one even apparently cocking a gun at his head - looking very thin. In addition, police say ballistics evidence shows that the pair were shot in the back - which again suggests they were moving away from Mr Davis, rather than about to attack him.

    Who were the Pakistanis that Mr Davis shot?

    In his initial statement, Mr Davis said they were robbers who were trying to steal his valuables. He and the US embassy have maintained this story. However, the men have no criminal records as such. Both have been identified as residents of Lahore by the police. The pair were carrying licensed pistols - a fact which led many to believe they might indeed have been robbers. However, security sources in Lahore say that they were part-time or low-level operatives for the local intelligence services. Although reports are sketchy about what they were doing in relation to Mr Davis, security officials believe it could be the case of a surveillance operation gone horribly wrong. Pakistani intelligence services routinely tail and monitor all embassy staff, Western or otherwise.

    A third man on his motorbike was killed in the incident by a mystery US car What about the second car and its victim?

    A side event to the main drama concerning Mr Davis was the fact a third man was also killed during the incident. He was an innocent bystander run over by a US embassy vehicle, which was initially said to have arrived to rescue Mr Davis. The fact that an embassy vehicle was able to get to the spot so quickly was a source of astonishment to anyone who is even vaguely aware of the geography of Lahore. Given the incident was over within minutes, it seems incredible that anyone could negotiate the 12km (7.4-mile) 40-minute drive in peak traffic in less than five minutes. But subsequent investigations have now shown that the second car - a Toyota Landcruiser - was with Mr Davis at the time of the incident. In fact, according to eyewitnesses, Mr Davis was leading and clearing the way for the Toyota when the incident took place. In the light of what happened afterwards, it seems Mr Davis was in "protective mode" and opened fire to "secure" whoever or whatever was in the Toyota - the interior of this vehicle was not visible as its windows were tinted. It is evident in local TV footage that the second vehicle is going away from Mr Davis at the time of the incident. As it disappears into the dust, Mr Davis calmly pulls over and gives himself up. Pakistani authorities have asked for the Landcruiser and its driver to be handed over - a request with which the US has yet to comply.

    What about behind-the-scenes negotiations?

    As well as public pressure, US officials have also privately warned Pakistan's government of far-reaching and severe consequences if Mr Davis is convicted. Unnamed US officials have also used the media to issue veiled warnings to Pakistan that diplomatic ties could be cut and all aid stopped. Despite Islamabad's public stance on Mr Davis, Pakistani officials are said to have privately assured Washington that he will eventually be released. However, public pressure means that at the moment this could lead to a massive anti-government backlash. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, has hinted that blood money could be paid to the families of the two men Mr Davis admits shooting, which could enable his release. There is speculation that US officials may try to establish contacts with the families in this regard. However, it is not clear that Mr Davis has been charged under laws which would allow blood money to be paid.

  • Assalam-o-Alaikum-Warahmat-ULLAH ALL,

    Also, I want to raise another question for discussion;

    Why do those in Pakistan who support the west, why do they think only Pakistan should "abide" by Vienna Convention ?

    There are multiple instances where USA has not adhered to it. Rather USA chose to violate it. In such a scenario where the powerful do not adhere to treaties they make, yet force others to "abide" by it, isn't that another instance of "hypocr|sy" ?

    If "conventions" are made to "bully" states that can be over-powered at the barrel of a gun, then people of Pakistan should focus "more" to "even" the odds.

    Which leads me to conclude those who have superior firepower, are "allowed" to do whatever they want, let the treaties, the laws they "claim" to adhere to, be damned. Those among our ranks who "allow" "foreign" entities to do so, are sending "signals" to the rest of us, that they are in league with these foreign entities.

    How so ? Through their decisions, their actions, they demonstrate the fact that they'v "accepted" "slavery" at the hands of these foreign entities. Rather than confronting these people on the wrongs they do, they makes "excuses" to "justify" their decisions/actions. It doesn't matter if these people within our ranks are educated or otherwise. Their demeanor in such a situation, is same.

    And if that's the "rule of thumb", then why are those inside Pakistan who support the west, why have they "become" a "hurdle" for Pakistan to "attain" superior firepower ? Why don't they "focus" on making Pakistan stronger ?

  • یار آپ یہاں اپنی انگریزی پریکٹس کرنے آتے ہو؟

    کبھی کبھی دو چار لائنوں میں بھی کوئی بات کر لیا کرو

  • how long does it take to check their record in FO?

  • Probably deal has been signed between Nawaz and Zardari,

    "Arrest Musharaf and have support for Ramon Davis from me ( Nawaz)"

  • Geo tv has released the footage of US consulate car that hit Ibad ur Rehman

  • Pakistan orders arrest of second US consular worker

    Posted Sat Feb 19, 2011

    A Pakistani court has ordered the arrest of a second US consular employee following the fatal shooting of two men in Lahore.

    Consular official Raymond Davis was arrested last month for shooting two men who he says were trying to rob him.

    A third man was run over by another official who was sent to pick up Mr Davis.

    Lahore politician Ejaz Chaudhry says Pakistan will never bow to US demands to release him because of his apparent diplomatic immunity.

    "He is a killer. He is a cold-blooded murderer and the people of Pakistan are very clear about this issue," he said.

    "They know Raymond is a spy. He is a terrorist here in Pakistan. And he must be penalised in Pakistan."

  • Yes, Ibad ur Rahman's killers must also be apprehended, he is getting ignored again & again.

    Also it is surprising to see how that stance of some 'media actors' has softened over last couple of weeks.

    Some anchors trying to "focus" the debates on future & solution, while some panelists trying to explain "rational" & "logic" to masses, some of them are those who initially took hard stance, but now have become 'supportive of american cause'

    All liberal cockroaches have suddenly come out of the gutter for this cause and started justifying their masters..

  • Thanks, nota. Now we know why the Federal Govt refused to do anything about the second car all along.

    Well, we needn't worry about that any longer. He'll get his come-uppance at some other point in time.

  • @nota he should have been arrested... hakoomat mein sab d@llay hain

  • RD is just a case of intrest groups in Pakistan asking for more money, principaly the establishment

    year before last there was such much hype on media about kerry luger bill as it was civilian aid and not earmaked for the establishment, upon kerrys visit and assurances, the establishment was temporarily appeased and hence all media coverage on KL bill including wall chalking was dropped overnight

    wall chalking has always been a favored mode for agents of establishment

    when assurances of Kerry were subsequently unfulfilled establishment did not press on with the operation in North Waziristan and again has picked on RD issue to settle grievance of broken promise with America and seek concession and finacial aid

    when and if estbalishment is done humuliating America for the broken promise, getting concession and funding and if they can trust America again to come up with the funding the RD issues would be dropped as abruptly as KL bill issue was

    I dont like the politicians, PPP or Zardari but one thing is clear the current rift in PPP i.e. the Shah Mahmood Querishi and Co movement is also fueled by the establishment,

    the establishment has 50 yrs of experiance at this divide and rule policy, it is establishment that formented so much discord in the country that Pakistanis society is so fragmented and no one dares question establishment and its role in bringing Pakistan to this apathetic state

    foreign powers may be involved but the same powers that killed Bhutto also killed BB, that is why to this date BB killers go unpunished beacuse her killers arent a small group, rather they are the powerhouse of this country

  • Well this seems to be the case. The American public, too, thinks same, the public has been pretty forward about opening their check book again on Davis' case. The Americans even had contacted Kiyani. We wait to see what the backside diplomacy would do.

  • who has been actually given time by this delay?

  • America to seek approvel of a package of monetary aid for the establishment

  • Know that no one would like this approach to pay more monetary aid.

    Americans were challenged in front of the whole world, even American president's demand was not entertained.

    First of all this is an act of challenge to American might, rest of the things are only secondary.

  • At this time, the Pakistani media has the onus to expose, expose and more expose, and infuriate the public .. could really be the beginning of the end the American hegemony.

    The Italian judge ordered CIA agents' arrest in abducting mullah. But no results. The Italian court could not do nothing either about US F-16's flying low in the alps and cutting the cable car cable, killing several.

    The Indian court couldn't do jack about Warren Anderson head of Union Carbide in Bhopal gas incident.

    Italy and India are politically much stronger countries.

    So I guess there would be few others nations who could cherish if Pakistan takes America by it's crotch.

  • Agreed BO

  • @barackosama

    vey well said.Infact Most of the countries specially arab countries much be praying Pakistan not to step back.

    The Guardian story about his CIA indentity also show that they are trying to fuel pakistan not to think about his early release.