If Raymond Davis is Freed, Islamabad Will Not Be Forgiven

The anger in Pakistan over the arrest and detention of U.S. Consulate employee Raymond Davis seems boundless. According to this editorial from Pakistan’s Frontier Post, if the country’s leadership is seen as caving into Washington and frees Davis, who killed two and caused the death of a third person in Lahore last week, President Zardari’s future is likely to be most unpleasant.
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Frontier Post
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Pakistan anger knows few bounds in the case of U.S. Consulate

employee Raymond Davis. All sides agree that he shot and killed

two people there last week, and a third was killed by Consulate

employees speeding to the scene of the shooting.

 

“If Musharraf turned Pakistan into a sprawling game park

for American adventurers, President Zardari has turned it

into a Wild West where cowboy Yankees can poach.”


This couldn’t be a slip-up by Fauzia Wahab, the information secretary of the [ruling] Pakistan Peoples Party: She read out the relevant passages of the Vienna Conventions to establish that American double murderer Raymond Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity. After all, she couldn’t be so naïve as to mistakenly issue such a categorical assertion on such a sensitive issue. There was obviously a method to her madness. Hers was unmistakably a choreographed act: she would make the statement, and then the movers and shakers would immediately jump in, refuting her pronouncement and asserting that neither was it her party’s stance nor that of the government’s. The clear intent was to sound out public opinion on releasing the American double killer.

Right:  Spokeswoman for the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, Fauzia Wahab: Her assertion that American Raymond Davis is protected by the Vienna Conventions may have made her the most despised woman in the country. Fauzia Wahab has in the meanwhile been removed from her current post as secretary information, Pakistan peoples Party.
 

 

But why is the Islamabad leadership so hell-bent on playing with fire? The issue is clearly an emotional one, charged with boiling public sentiment. If the slayer is let off under some ruse, such as a contrived diplomatic immunity, public anger will in all likelihood burst into a storm, to the great woe of the leadership. Now that the case is before the courts, Islamabad must l forego any hanky-panky in their own interest and let them decide.

A court decision, whatever it is, will be accepted by the people, though if Davis is freed – grudgingly. Already, the public is greatly frustrated by the leadership’s not-so-deft moves to somehow set the American slayer free. They’ve shown no regard for the grief of the families of the two Pakistani nationals whom he put to death, let alone the third unfortunate victim. That man, who the slayer’s pals crushed under the speeding wheels of their vehicles, has become a forgotten nonentity, even to our own politicos, media and commentators who are playing to the gallery.

Despite his admittedly heinous crime of double murder, the Americans are so concerned about their citizen that they have employed every type of bullying, blackmail and coercion. Seeing that, it really hurts to watch our leaders show no such concern, let alone compassion or sympathy, for our own dead. As was previously pointed out, one of the victims has been forgotten by our politicians and media celebrities, his death disregarded as though he were a worm crushed underfoot, and the widow of another has taken her life in despair.

But why are our leaders so intent on burning every boat and committing themselves to uncertain shores? History shows that Americans are always the first to jump a sinking ship. For 30 years, Hosni Mubarak played their errand boy in the Middle East. Despite that, they batted not an eye at abandoning him once they found the going rough in the face of his people’s popular revolt. For decades, the Shah of Iran was their blue-eyed boy and much-eulogized hatchet man in the region. But when the crunch came and a furious people’s revolution overthrew him, they refused to grant him asylum and left him seeking refuge in Morocco, the Bahamas and Panama, only to die in Egypt.

Here in Pakistan, although he was their servile lackey, when Americans found he had turned into a liability, they turned away from Pervez Musharraf. If conditions take a similar turn, which they certainly will if our leaders continues to slap our own people to earn America’s favor, will the results be any different? Going even further than Musharraf in this frailty, the servility that the government humiliatingly shows Americans has lost them much of our people’s respect and credibility. If Musharraf turned Pakistan into a sprawling game park for American adventurers, President Zardari has turned it into a Wild West where cowboy Yankees can poach. To our people’s great anger, their adventurous exploits here have witnessed phenomenal growth under Zardari’s watch.

If Zardari earns the people’s scorn and indignation by acting outside the law of our land by releasing the murderer Davis to please America in the short term, he may rue it later. Doing so may also place him in a very difficult confrontation with the judiciary. He would do well to sit back and let the courts rule.

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