Tuesday, February 15, 2011

US urges Pakistan to approve Davis' diplomatic status

In an effort to end the deepening diplomatic deadlock between Islamabad and Washington, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Salman Bashir was pressured by US Ambassador Cameron Munter on Monday to approve the diplomatic status of Raymond Davis who was accused of murdering two men in Lahore on 27 January, in a report fromThe Nation.
The US emissary pushed for an approval from the Foreign Office so that both countries could focus on other more important issues.
It was emphasized by the US envoy that the 36-year-old Davis enjoyed diplomatic and criminal immunity and should be freed at the soonest possible time under the Vienna Convention, which Pakistan is a signatory.
However, according to the Foreign Affairs secretary, the issue is debatable and is up for the courts to decide. Bashir also highlighted that the six decades of Pakistan-US relations and their alliance against terrorism should not be affected by one man.
The Pakistani government is concerned of the possible harsh reactions in lieu of the strong sentiments against the US if it will give in.
It was earlier reported that the US cancelled the Afghan-Pakistan-US talks slated on 23-24 February, high-level Islamabad-Washington meetings, withholding of US economic aid, and cutting off ties in order to release Davis.
It was also reported that in a show of protest, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to meet Pakistan's former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a recent conference in Munich, but she met with Pakistan's country representative Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
Serving a 14-day judicial remand, Davis' claim of self-defence was dismissed by the cops on Friday.
Details of this story here.

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