Send Raymond back home | Pakistan Today

Send Raymond back home

When Raymond Davis killed two young boys, all hell broke loose. I was the first one who got hold of a video inside the police station being made by none other but Raymond himself and I showed it on television in my show. Later this was shown on other channels and quoted worldwide by many leading publications. A lot has been said about Raymond, his back ground, the CIA operatives in Pakistan and possible subversive activities by them. What has not been touched upon is the fact that not only the American but Pakistani authorities are to be blamed directly for this mess. The Americans, we forget, work for the interests of their country and no one can blame them for this. It is an open secret that Raymond must have been a high profile person to merit such a strong follow up by the US establishment. However, we all know the real outcome of the incident. More isolation internationally for Pakistan, (as if it is enjoying great popularity to begin with). The Pakistani authorities took eternity to answer the question if he was a diplomat or not. Who issued the visas and why, are questions that have been asked time and again.

What we do forget is that many blunders have been committed on our side and that to-date we are trying to cover up the mess we have created yet again. When I asked the brother of a victim, he commented that Raymond could have been acting in self-defense as his deceased brother did carry firearms. The political parties have been using this as an excuse to score points over each other, failing to realise that they are fuelling an already confused state of our collective mindset. Their rhetoric will not help anyone but push the country deeper into an abyss of darkness and despair. Ironically, I am told some lawyers have regretted to represent Raymond in a court of law fearing public backlash. This is preposterous and silly. Under the constitution of the country each person has a right to a legal counsel and is innocent until proven guilty. We may blast India time and again but the fact is that Ajmal Qasaab, involved in Mumbai attacks, was given a trial. Call it scripted screenplay or whatever the conspiracy theorists propel us to label it but the Indians did prove to the international community that they were on the right side of the law.

I produced a letter by the US Consulate on television asking the Foreign Office to issue a non-diplomatic card to Raymond Davis. But that was then. Now the situation is a bit different. The country of origin determines if a person is a diplomat or not. When the Secretary of State comes on national television proclaiming that a man is a diplomat, followed by the President of the country that any individual is a diplomat, then, so be it that person is a diplomat. Everything else is merely academic. Granted, the person may not be a diplomat at the time of the crime but if he is declared so at any given time, how will you deny him the right.

Chances are, and hopefully very bright ones too, that the victims families will settle for blood money. I am told the only reason that has not happened so far is due to immense pressures from various political groups, which is a hindrance to justice and cannot be condoned.

The maverick-like statements by some police officials, or a former federal minister auger poorly for the institutions of our own country. Some of them are truly lying and others acting on instructions by their superiors. Either way, it does not help position Pakistan positively in the international community.

What Raymond was doing should be assessed behind closed doors between the two governments and the opportunity should be taken as a divine one where we can revisit our strategic association with each other. If the victims families are satisfied by blood money, we should be content. If Raymond Davis is sent home, our strategic alliance with the US is re-visited and we gain some major ground, I think that would be a great achievement.

If sending Raymond can win some respite for victims families, if that can help us identify our weaknesses and strengthen our national security and if that can project us as a sensible member of the international community, then I would strongly argue to send Raymond Davis home.