A Simple Mess? Or Is There More That Meets The Eye To The Killing Of Three People In Lahore At The Hands Of An Alleged 'US-Consular-Officer'
So much has been said about this one incident that I don’t even know where to begin. So this guy named Raymond Davis (if that is his real name), an employee of the US consulate (if that is his real job) fatally shot two robbers (if they really were robbers) with a gun that is said to be unlicensed in a busy part of Lahore that is seldom frequented by foreigners, in broad daylight.
The days following this tragedy have only brought with them confusion and some more confusion. The lines between fact and fiction are absolutely blurred as each witness has his own account of the incident, official government stories keep changing and evidence is quickly shoved under the carpet.
There has been a lot of speculation about who this person is. Is he a consular officer? If so what was he doing in that part of Lahore with a loaded weapon and unless I’m wrong, consular officers do not get such incredible back-up security with rescues teams reaching them within minutes. Is he a security contractor or a spy? Even if he is, it doesn’t or shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It is common knowledge that nations implant spies in other strategic countries to serve their own national interests and the presence of security contractors or private militias in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq has already been established. His identity or career has no bearing, or at least should have no bearing on the fact that he shot two men.
More than who he is, what matters is what actually transpired on the streets of Mozang that day. The relatives of the two men who were shot reject all claims that they were robbers and have said that they kept guns with them for personal security. If the news reports are true, then it is ironic that the “robbers” had licensed guns with them and a US consulate “employee” didn’t. Witnesses say they saw Raymond Davis running from his car and then shooting these two men before trying to get away himself. If these accounts are to be believed, then his claim of self-defense comes into question and what boggles my mind the most is that if these men were even trying to rob him or take his car, how did it turn so bloody? It is common in Pakistan for young thugs to engage in petty crime and steal mobiles, wallets or even cars in some instances. Foreign workers are very well briefed about the security situation in the country and are taught not to react rashly and I find it hard to believe that Raymond killed two men just because they were trying to rob him.
The US has been pushing the diplomatic immunity card. How does a member of the “technical and administrative staff” have diplomatic immunity? What I want to know is if a Pakistani had opened fire in Times Square during a supposed robbery killing two Americans, would he simply have been extradited to Pakistan without question or the due course of law? I sincerely doubt that.
What this quagmire has caused is a diplomatic mess, at a time that neither country could afford it. America desperately needs Pakistani support as it tries to reduce its military presence in Afghanistan and reel in the Taliban. Pakistan needs not only the aid that comes in from the US but its support in general. Pakistan also needs to do a balancing act between its alliance with America and a growing anti-US sentiment among the people.
No matter what the reality is, it will be portrayed by the public and the media as an attempt by the US to impose its will outside its jurisdiction and another example of how the Pakistani leadership is heavily influenced by American demands. Is there any truth to that accusation? I think so, but hey what do I know!