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Passes the buck to foreign, interior ministries; The News stands by its story
- Tuesday, February 01, 2011 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Secretariat has reacted to the report published in The News captioned ‘Government agrees to give immunity to Lahore killer?’ as incorrect.


Commenting on the report, the spokesperson said the federal government was not putting any pressure to hand over Raymond Davis to the US. It is absolutely untrue that Prime Minister Gilani has exerted any influence for the release of Raymond Davis. However, the spokesperson further clarified that ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior were the focal ministries to deal with this case.


Ahmad Noorani adds: The Prime Minister’s Secretariat has issued a vague clarification and has not denied the conversations between Prime Minister Gilani and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. The News story gave complete details of three different communications between Shahbaz Sharif, Yusuf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and US consulate officials. The inside story of two telephonic calls and a meeting was also given.


After issuing this clarification, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat itself contacted Geo News programme Capital Talk and confirmed the telephonic communications. It only added that Shahbaz Sharif had called the premier. In fact it is surprising that the Prime Minister’s Secretariat has thrown the ball into the court of foreign and interior ministries, and has tried to wash its hands off the issue.


It should have revealed the contents of the discussions held with the Punjab chief minister, if it really wanted to deny the story. There is no rebuttal of the information that Washington has been assured that immunity will be given and that Raymond Davis will be handed over to the US authorities.


Regrettably there is not even a mention of the other killers who are hiding in the US Consulate in Lahore with the killer vehicle. No demand has been made to hand them over to the Pakistani authorities for investigations and trial. The News stands by its story.