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Raymond Davis case

Raymond Davis case is one of  crucial “diplomatic storms” that  put Pak US diplomatic relations in real test.It  was American National Raymond Davis who killed two Pakistanis in Lahore on busy Road and third Pakistani citizen got killed when a car trying to rescue Raymond. Raymond justified his act of killing 3 persons as it was for self-defense .People, however, held Raymond when he was trying to escape form the accident spot. The incident occurred 27th of January 2011.Diiferent questions raised after the incident. Who was RAYMOND Devis? What was his job? Question of immunity according to international law also turned on a hot debate .weapon was also recovered from his custody which made his role and status in the country more suspected for the people and government. It once again strengthened masses opinion that US is involve in destabilizing Pakistan by deploying CIA spy network in the country.  The case has become the latest test of bonds between the two countries with anti-US groups trying the Pakistani government resists US calls to free him.US Pak relations were again in test for Raymond Devis  status was not clear and both Pakistan and US were forwarding their own stance which catalyzed masses anger  against US.


There were several opinions regarding the status of Raymond Devis which turned the incident hot debate and the issue of status Davis in Pakistan became the central issue in this diplomatic storm. According to Initial media reports Raymond Davis was styled as a diplomat, than he was called a consular employee and later some of the reports claimed he was a plain civilian visiting on a business visa. The US embassy confirms his employment as a technical adviser. Anther statement came from ABC news that Davis was associated with a security firm in Florida, which had an ambiguous context leading to more reports of a possible CIA connection. Later on the US state officials claimed that he was not an employee at Lahore consulate but an employee of US embassy at Islamabad. Thus there were ambiguity from the both side US and Pakistan regarding to the status of Raymond   Devis.


The important question was that whether he had the diplomatic immunity and privileges or not? It is the question of International Law which finds its ground in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which came into force in 1964, and which formally became part of Pakistan’s domestic law when the necessary legislation was passed in 1972. Article 29 of the Convention states that “the person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. “US  first  declare Davis as employ of US consulate in Lahore which US later on denied  by issuing statement that he was technical advisor at US embassy in Islamabad. The shift in statement regarding the status of Raymond was due the fact that employee of consulate cannot enjoy certain immunities and privileges as employee of embassy. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, which came into effect in 1967, states in Article 41(1) that “Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority.” The statement means that no immunity from arrest would be available even to the head of the Consular post, or any officer having consular rank provided that the crime committed is of crucial nature .US constantly  kept mounting pressure on Pakistan for release of Davis. The U.S. government maintained simple stance from the beginning: he was an employee of the U.S. consulate in Lahore who shot two men in self-defense. Since he did it in his self-defense and is employee of US consulate (later he was declared as employee of US embassy in Pakistan), he is entitled for “diplomatic immunity,” therefore he should be released by government of Pakistan under the Vienna Convention immediately. US President Obama has himself contended that he should be released for these reasons cited. Synchronized with Obama’s plea   for the man’s diplomatic immunity, U.S. Senator John Kerry visited to Pakistan to resolve the ever more complicated row. There were threats by U.S. lawmakers that they would halt aid to Pakistan. One senior US administration official said that   if a solution was not found quickly, the US Congress could cut foreign aid. “The longer this goes on, the higher the potential cost in the relationship,” the official said. “Sooner or later, if they can’t resolve it, Congress is going to start sending some signals.”


But responding to US demanding as demanded was not possible for Pakistan government was reluctant to add fuel to a fiery anti-American mood in Pakistan and has said local courts must decide. “President Asif Ali Zardari, who needs U.S. funding but whose political future could be cut short if he exposes himself to anti-American sentiment growing across Pakistan”. Public was furious over this act of American whose are already considered as source of discontent and terror in Pakistan. There were certain reasons for public anger against this act of Raymond. There emerged conspiracy theories that grip many Pakistanis. Like he was portrayed as CIA agent, black water employee “further outrages Pakistanis who embrace various conspiracy theories about Blackwater/Xe Services and its ilk running around Pakistan, whose activities are shrouded in complete opacity”. The incident also highlighted confusion within the ruling party over the Davis case. During the cabinet reorganization, Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was dropped reportedly “over his divergent opinion on the Raymond Davis issue,” when he said that Washington had pressured him for Davis’ release “but he had refused to comply on the basis that Davis is not a diplomat. “Religious and other political parties also pressurized the PPP led government not to surrender to US demands for it was the matter of sovereignty and nations dignity. They demanded Devis trial in Pakistani courts and punishment accordingly.


After weeks of oddly public pressure on Islamabad to declare Davis immune from prosecution, A Pakistani court acquitted Davis,of murder charges and released him on Wednesday after what some officials said was a deal that involved paying “blood money” to the victims’ families. Officials in Washington sought to put a bright face on the situation on Wednesday, saying his release meant a return to business as usual.

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