WSJ) This ends an international row between Pakistan and the United States in what is already a strained relationship.Raymond Davis, the CIA spy charged with double murder, has been set freed after the families of the two dead men agreed to drop charges in exchange for financial compensation. (
On January 27, 2011, Raymond Davis, a U.S. citizen, claiming to work for the U.S. Consulate in Lahore, shot and killed two men in the city of Lahore. He described how the two men pulled up alongside of him on a motorcycle and one of them brandished a pistol. He said his actions were self-defence.
The U.S. claimed diplomatic immunity however the entire situation became progressively muddled as a great deal of conflicting information came out which led Pakistani authorities to believe Davis was anything but a diplomat.
Apparently the list of items found in Davis's car included GPS chips used in identifying targets for drone attacks in the tribal region, a Glock handgun, a flashlight that attaches to a headband, a pocket telescope, a large number of cellphones, including at least one satellite phone, a collection of batteries, buckets of bullets, both for the Glock and a Beretta allegedly used by Davis to kill the two motorcyclists, and a quantity of M-16 shells, a type of high-powered killer projectiles not allowed in many countries; plus military-grade knives, wires, an array of high-capacity magazines for the handguns, a camera loaded with pictures of dozens of madrassas (religious schools) and other buildings around Lahore. Apparently Davis also carried multiple ATM and military ID cards and what was described as a facial disguise or makeup plus identification cards from the U.S. consulates in Lahore and Peshawar but not from the embassy in Islamabad.
The U.S. pressed repeatedly and energetically for this guy's release but he had shot and killed two men in broad daylight and tried to escape. On top of this, some other vehicle supposedly dispatched to assist Davis drives up a street the wrong way and kills an innocent motorcyclist. But to even further muddle the story, the widow of one of the men killed by Davis committed suicide. The funeral of the three men brought out over 400 people to protest against the American and the United States.
The end of the story
The major problem from the outset was for Pakistani courts to decide if Davis had immunity or not. According to the law, the person must work directly for the embassy and despite American protests, it was clear that Davis was not. However, it would seem that some other way out of this mess was found.
The Guardian stated that Davis was freed under the Islamic "blood money" provision of Pakistani law, whereby an accused murderer can be freed on payment of financial compensation to the family of the victim. The paper goes on to report that a lawyer for one of the families claims they were forced to sign the pardon papers. The government, however, denied no involvement in Davis's release.
Complex? Convoluted? CIA? Covert? What other C word can I find to explain what's going on? Oh I know; how about "caught". I thought Spying one oh one meant you were not found out; you remained hidden, in the shadows, unknown to all but your "handler".
This entire affair underlines that there is much going on in Pakistan we know nothing about. The situation in the country, the relationship between Islamabad and Washington, and the war on terror is complicated to say the least. I quote from Wikipedia's article on this incident:
Davis has also been shown to be an erstwhile employee of security outfit Blackwater Worldwide (presently called Xe) and was a member of CIA's Global Response Staff, who assist case officers when they meet with sources. His two victims are also reported to be operatives of Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). An ISI official has made a statement saying that Davis had contacts in the tribal regions along the Afghanistan border and already knew both the men he shot. He said the ISI is investigating the possibility that the encounter on the streets of Lahore stemmed from a meeting or from threats to Davis. Data retrieved from Davis’ phones and GPS device has been to Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and some tribal areas of the country, areas that have been the subject of US drone attacks. These attacks were interrupted for several weeks after Davis' arrest. On February 28, DawnNews reported that law enforcement agencies arrested 45 individuals in Pakistan for staying in constant contact with Davis. Other media reported at the same time that at least 30 suspected covert American operatives have suspended their activities in Pakistan and 12 have already left the country.
Wikipedia: Raymond Allen Davis incident
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