In late January an American citizen, Raymond Davis, 36, murdered two Pakistani motorcyclists in Lahore with his pistol with pinpoint accuracy through his car windshield. All hell broke loose: America wanted him back on grounds of diplomatic immunity, from the US president and the secretary of state down. (They were obviously deliberately wrongly briefed by the US Deep State). The unspoken tradition is to disown arrested spies. Then suddenly the US went honest and officially admitted that Davis was a CIA operative. Why? Obviously his was a mission so nefarious that they wanted him out before he spilled the beans. Obviously too he was persuaded to spill them, without being put in a gulag like Guantanamo. America cut the rope and left him adrift.
My questions have still not been answered: who gave Davis a business visa and who later converted it into a diplomatic visa? Is it true that someone permitted our missions in Washington, London and Dubai to issue visas to Americans without getting clearance from our intelligence agencies? And, is it true that one of these embassies alone issued 500 such unverified visas? How many of these Dogs of War are still in Pakistan? What are they doing? When will we kick them out? This affair should give us the opportunity to recast our relations with the US in more equitable terms. We should not miss it.
A Counter Punch Special Report admirably written by Dave Lindorff tells us a lot. Now we know that Davis, formerly a commando in the US Special Forces, came on a normal passport on a business visa but was given a diplomatic passport and visa after arriving in Pakistan. His identity, first denied by the US was later confirmed as an employee of a US security company called Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC, located at 5100 North Lane in Orlando, Florida. But there is not and never has been any such company located at that address, which is only an empty storefront, with empty shelves along one wall and an empty counter on the opposite wall, with just a lone Coke can sitting on it. The Florida Secretary of States office, meanwhile, which requires all Florida companies to register, has no record, current or lapsed, of a Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC.
After shooting the two motorcyclists in the back through the windshield of his rented car, he got out, photographed them with his mobile phone, and then shot them in the front, obviously to make proof of self-defence. Police also found with him a loaded Glock, 250 rounds of ammunition, a telescope, three cell phones, at least one of which could have a Ground Positioning Satellite capability heavy arms for a consular security officer not even in the act of guarding any embassy personnel, and whats with the telescope?
Was he secretly working with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan once headed by the late Baitullah Mehsud to destabilise Pakistan? Could he also have been casing our nuclear sites? I have always maintained that Baitullah and his TTP are US creations and that if Baitullah killed Benazir, he did it for the US. That goes exactly according to the US doctrine of control through destabilisation by installing compliant and pliable governments in the confusion. The Baitullah now knew too much. Little wonder that he was killed. That does not rule out the possibility that the US may also have been working with other Pakistan functionaries in our government and in Benazirs party as well.
According to Lahore police, however, the vehicle in question, rather than coming to Daviss aid, actually had been accompanying Daviss sedan, and when the shooting happened, it sped away, killing the third motorcyclist as it raced off. Again, a substantially different story [from the official US version] that raises more questions about what this drive into the Mozang district was all about. The occupants of that car were secreted away to the US. How? Not without the help and knowledge of our authorities, surely, or doesnt our right hand know what the left is doing? The vehicle, of course, is nowhere to be found.
Immunity became the most contentious issue: does Davis have it or does he not? According to Lahore police investigators, he was arrested carrying a regular US passport, which had a business visa, not a diplomatic visa. The US reportedly only later supplied a diplomatic passport carrying a diplomatic visa that had been obtained not in the US before his departure, but in Islamabad, the countrys capital.
Determine who gave Davis a diplomatic visa and you might find equally strange story about stooges and satraps, agents and spies within our midst. Under Pakistani law, only actual consular functionaries, not service workers at embassy and consulate, have diplomatic status. Furthermore, no immunity would apply in the case of serious crimes and certainly murder is as serious as it gets.
The US media have been uncritically quoting the State Department that Pakistan is violating the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963. Those reporters should check the actual document. Section II, Article 41 of the treaty, in its first paragraph regarding the Personal inviolability of consular officers, states: 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.
In other words, the prosecutorial, police and judicial authorities in Lahore and the state of Punjab are doing exactly what they are supposed to do in holding Davis on murder charges, pending a judicial determination concerning whether or not he can properly claim diplomatic immunity. Well, earlier this week a magistrate decided that Davis does not have immunity. More importantly for me, our foreign minister who lost his job over this issue, thundered after leaving office that the considered view of the Foreign Office is that Davis does not have immunity. The US claim that Pakistan is violating the convention is simply nonsense.
No, we must not let Raymond Davis go without going through the entire legal process. Perhaps only then will our ruling class realise who our real friends are.
The writer is a political analyst. He can be contacted at [email protected]