On 27th January, 2011, the country was turned into a fire zone; everyone was emotional and clamouring to save the country’s sovereignty. An American, Raymond Davis, had shot dead two people, Fahim and Faizan Hyder at a crowded place in Lahore.
All over the country there were calls that Raymond Davis should be hanged at the same place where he had shot dead the two young Pakistanis. The law Minister of Punjab, Rana Sanaullah also issued a harsh statement against the American, and leader of his faction of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Sharif met John Kerry.
After the meeting Nawaz Sharif said: “We will never compromise on Raymond Davis and Punjab province is first in the country who stood up against Raymond Davis. Nawaz League had first talked strongly against Kerry-Lugar Bill and Choudhry Nisar had said: “We can die but we will never sell our sovereignty.” But when his entire party met Hillary Clinton not a single word was spoken in front of her. Is this the way of protecting sovereignty of Pakistan or creating tension among common people?
Media and religious parties too had harshly spoken and assumed that Pakistan would defend its sovereignty and for protection of sovereignty it was must that Raymond Davis be hanged publicly. On sensitive issues how much our people are going to react wrongly while knowing that resolution of these issues need table talk and the country might have to compromise.
But Raymond Davis issue was taken too much sensitively. Some issues cannot be handled through road politics or fireworks, as we all know that Pakistan sooner or later will have to surrender on Davis issue. As we all know Raymond Davis, the CIA spy, charged with double murder in Pakistan, has been freed after the families of two dead men agreed to withdraw charges in exchange for financial compensation.
The question is why they took the country to a boiling point? Even though we all knew that this case should not have been treated as it was treated. Raymond Davis case was ignited when news came up that he is a CIA agent and in Pakistan he was supposed to conduct secret investigations. This news was leaked by Guardian correspondent Declan Walsh.
Before going on further I would like to share an interview of Declan Walsh which I had specially taken on Raymond Davis case on 7th March 2011.
Do you think the Raymond Davis case will have an impact on relations between Pak - US relations?
Declan Walsh:- I think it already has had a very strong impact. It reflects the pathological nature of the relationship, and brings out the worst in the national character of both the countries. The Pakistanis are angered at being seen as “little brother” who takes American money but is supposed to say nothing when armed Americans go around the country shooting people. The Americans feel angered that they have pumped so much money into Pakistan, and yet Pakistan is unwilling to help when one of their people gets in trouble.
Does Raymond Davis possess any kind of immunity?
Declan Walsh:- That’s a very legal-technical question that the best legal brains in Pakistan seem unable to answer right now! It is common practice for many countries to send intelligence agents on missions abroad under diplomatic cover. But the golden rule for espionage is “don’t get caught”. And if you do get caught, well then you deal with every situation on its merits and according to its particular circumstances.
American President Obama confirmed that Raymond Davis has immunity and Pakistan authority declared, Davis doesn’t enjoy immunity, in your view are both the parties taking the case in right direction or their statements are creating trouble in the case?
Declan Walsh:- The Pakistan government hasn’t declared yet whether Davis has immunity or not - and that’s a major part of the problem between the two countries.
Being a correspondent of Guardian newspaper, you have already mentioned, Raymond Davis is CIA agent, after such news, how do you see the role of Pakistani Media? Though some sources reported he had remained in Blackwater.
Declan Walsh:- Yes, he previously worked for either Blackwater or Xe Services, the new name for Blackwater. I believe he stopped working for them when the CIA employed him fulltime. Pakistan media have taken a very strong interest in this case, but sometimes have been too willing to report stories about Davis that are obviously untrue - for example, that he tried to supply al-Qaeda with nuclear weapons.
Raymond Davis’ bio-data shows that he had been a member of various spy agencies, but those two men killed Faizan Haider 21, and Muhammad Faheem 19, were reported to be ISI agents but ISI refused it, declaring them as robbers even though Gul Hameed said that both were neither agents nor robbers. What do you think about them?
Declan Walsh:- I really don’t know what the truth is about these two men. But I think it’s the key to understanding why Davis opened fire on them, and why he fired so many shots.
After 9/11, Pakistan intelligence has been claiming, they have enough strategy against War on Terror but after Raymond Davis case, don’t you think Pakistan intelligence has failed to protect its sovereignty because they could not have identified such people while accidentally Pakistan intelligence caught this case?
Declan Walsh:- It’s not clear what role Pakistani intelligence played in this case. They claim he entered the country because the US embassy made it too easy to obtain a visa. But I suspect they knew who he was a long time ago, and were monitoring him to see what he was up to.
As media has got a video of Raymond Davis while talking to a police officer. Do Pakistan agencies deal sensitive issues like this way because such videos without permission cannot be shown on TV, how do you feel about it?
Declan Walsh:- It’s very unusual in any country for the authorities to leak an interrogation video. While it’s good for the media, I think it reflects badly on the police/intelligence agencies.
What is your view about People’s Party itself contradicting statements coming up in public from former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Quershi who said Raymond Davis doesn’t enjoy immunity and Ms Fauzia Wahab said, he does enjoy immunity?
Declan Walsh:- This case has clearly caused divisions within the PPP, between those politicians who are perceived to be close to the intelligence agencies and those who are not. But they may just be perceptions - the key question is whether the Foreign Office had given Davis immunity or not. But in many senses, this whole affair is about more than just the facts now - it’s about politics too.
Raymond Davis case has sparked anti-American sentiments and religious parties gave a boost to it, even though Punjab Government clearly said that they would not compromise on Pakistan’s sovereignty. After these sign, will Raymond Davis get immunity?
Declan Walsh:- I think some deal will be struck that will allow Davis to leave Pakistan. Maybe not tomorrow, but perhaps in two weeks, or two months. In the end, it will be a technical question as to whether he leaves under immunity or under some other deal.
Do you think Raymond Davis case is becoming political even by People’s Party Pakistan member Mr. Qureshi and religious parties plus Punjab Government?
Declan Walsh:- It reflects the tortured relationship between Pakistan and the US, which started back in the 50’s under General Ayub. So it’s political for everyone.
Raymond Davis case is being tried by a Lahore court in-camera session, do you think courts will free in taking decision or come under pressure?
Declan Walsh:- Impossible for me to say.
If Raymond Davis gets immunity, will PPP enjoy power in government?
Declan Walsh:- How the PPP handles the case will be very important for the stability of the government. I think they will try very hard to ensure that whatever solution they come up with, it will have the agreement (private, if not public) of the army and the opposition parties, which are the two forces that have the power to destabilize the government.
According to the above interview Declan Walsh predicated that Raymond Davis will be released soon. And now it has been confirmed that Raymond Davis has been freed. It’s not new for us that people perform their duties as agents like Raymond Davis and we might have many more people performing duties like him and moving around freely. Here is a point to ponder that why politicians are driven in wrong direction when they know very well that Pakistan has no power to refuse its big boss America. If Pakistan had ability to show eyes America would not have given excuses as we are doing to them. We need to understand our weaker position and given country in the hands of Big Boss. It is sad but the fact is that we cannot go against the US. According to one source: “As much as $5billion were given to Pakistan in military assistance since 9/11 attacks; it is an open secret that at least 20 per cent of this amount went into the pockets of high ups.” Published in English Newspaper in The Frontier Post, on March/18/2011. http://http//www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=ar&nid=521&ad=18-03-2011