Demonstrating relatives of three Pakistanis, who died after a U.S. consulate worker opened fire, hold up a portrait of a victim, left, and a flyer against the alleged suspect, Raymond Davis, near the scene of the incident in Lahore on Feb. 2, 2011. (Arif Ali, AFP/Getty Images)
This news item is courtesy the daily Dawn of Karachi
The members of the Senate were unanimous on Tuesday in rejecting US demands for the release of Raymond Davis, accused of gunning down two men in Lahore.
They warned the government of eruption of mass protests if it succumbed to American pressure on the issue.
Speaking on a point of order, the Prime Minister`s Adviser, Mian Raza Rabbani, said the government was duty-bound to respect the sentiments of people as expressed by the parliament.
Mr Rabbani said: “A strong message needs to be sent by this house that people of Pakistan will not accept anything less than fair trial of the murderer and punishment under the law of the land.
“We do not accept any immunity to a murderer even if the American is a diplomat. If the Vienna Convention gives immunity to diplomats, it also envisages some laws for them to follow.”
He said the Americans should not repeat their history when black slaves were killed by the white and all the blame was also put on the victims.
The senator said the US should be told that Pakistan did not have double standards when it came to enforcing laws on the locals on the one hand and foreigners on the other.
Prof Khurshid Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami criticised a statement by Information Technology Minister Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali that the US citizen could be released if he enjoyed the status of a diplomat.
He said the government would be inviting a strong protest if the American involved in murder was released. No one was above the law, he said.
He said the Washington Post had reported that Davis was working for a private security agency. “What was he doing in Lahore equipped with telescope, pistol and other gadgets which were found in his vehicle?” he asked.
According to other reports, 60 to 70 agents of the US Central Intelligence Agency were freely roaming all over the country, especially in Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi, since 2004, he said.
Humayun Khan Mandokhel said: “If the US law can be applied in the case of Dr Afia Siddiqui, why cannot we try Davis under our own law.”
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