The case of the American Raymond Allen Davis who is accused of shooting two men in Lahore should not be used to advance a political agenda and should not be exploited by the media hoping to boost ratings by enflaming the nationalist sentiments of the people. We are a nation of laws and the law should be allowed to run its course.
Presently there is much chatter about this case because the gunman is an American who was working for the US consulate. Unfortunately, too much of the chatter is taking a vigilante tone that will undermine our credibility as a democratic nation that respects law and order.
Was the American being robbed?
According to a report in Express Tribune, police have recovered evidence of robberies from the bodies of the deceased.
The complainants, Doctor Farzand and Sheharyar Malik, in a written application, state that the two had robbed them of their mobiles and cash just before the incident and were fleeing.
As evidence, the two have referred to phone logs of calls made to Rescue 1-5 about the incident right after it happened. The police say that two mobile phones were recovered from the deceased which matched the description of those the applicants had complained to 1-5 had been stolen.
However, the police had also shown the recovery of foreign currency from the deceased, which they say had also been looted. On the other hand, there is yet to be a complaint regarding the theft of foreign currency on the day of the incident.
Arshad Dogar reports for The News that police recovered pistols from the youths also and the families have not provided any weapons licenses despite claims in some sections of the media. According to The News, one of the youths was wearing a visible pistol holster on his belt.
Amateur footage taken at the scene shows a pistol lying beneath a motorbike, and a holster is clearly visible on the belt of one of the dead men as he is wheeled into hospital.
Is the US trying to protect Davis?
Yes, of course. The job of any Embassy is to protect the interests of their nationals. When Aafia Siddiqui was being tried in American courts, the Embassy in Washington hired top lawyers and Ambassador Husain Haqqani had regular high-level contacts with American officials calling for Siddiqui’s immediate repatriation. Today, US Ambassador Cameron Munter is doing the same for his own countryman as is his job.
Is the US respecting Pakistani laws and courts?
So far the answer is yes. According to the report from the front page of The News, the US has announced that they will ‘cooperate fully’ with Pakistani authorities.
Meanwhile, the US said it would cooperate fully with Pakistani investigation into an incident in Lahore, after an American consulate worker shot dead two men. “Well, this happened within Pakistan. There’s a Pakistani investigation. We will cooperate fully,” Philip J Crowley, State Department spokesman, said confirming the American worker’s involvement in the incident.
Actually Davis has not been secreted out of the country like some conspiracy theorists suggest but is sitting and cooling himself in a Lahore jail.
What should result?
The law should be allowed to take its course. At this time Davis is sitting in jail under interrogation while the facts are being gathered to determine the case. Judgments should be reserved until the facts are clear.