ISLAMABAD: Punjab government is all set to move the court for securing the arrest warrants of four other US “diplomats” who had come to rescue their colleague Raymond Davis from the crime scene but fled after killing yet another citizen, Ebad-ul-Rehman.
Raymond Davis, during interrogation, finally identified the officials who rushed to the scene to rescue him. Initially it was said a US Consulate driver had come to the spot. Raymond disclosed there were four American officials from the consulate besides the driver.
In light of his disclosure, CCPO Lahore Aslam Tareen, the head of the investigation team, wrote a letter to the consulate three days after the incident when verbal contacts failed making any headway.
As there was no response, the Tareen-led police team went to the consulate requesting the handover of these wanted diplomats charged in the murder case of Ebad but returned empty handed. Now, the last option left is to secure arrest warrants from the court, said a well-placed official.
The official said Raymond is fully cooperating with the interrogators and has been kept in tight security in Chong Police Training Centre. “Contrary to speculative media reports, Raymond fully cooperates. He was extremely nervous in the beginning and only became normal when granted the counsellor’s access.”
Sources privy to the whole episode say that Punjab government faced strenuous pressure in the beginning from the federal government through bureaucratic channels but it diminished after the arrest of Raymond.
“The federal government first applied pressure through Federal Interior Secretary Qamar Zaman on the Punjab Home Secretary,” said a highly informed source who has been in the picture throughout. Initially the federal secretary warned against registering the FIR against Raymond but it was done. At the next step, the home secretary was asked not to order his arrest but in vain. After failing in these efforts and gauging public reaction on this triple murder at the hands of US diplomats, the federal government started exercising caution, said the source.
The News called the federal interior secretary and also dropped messages for his version but he did not respond. According to the officials privy to Raymond’s case, the American charged in double murder case has been kept in Chong Police Training Centre. “Our foremost concern was his security lest he might be killed by police itself. Keeping in view this concern, the inner ring of the security guards deputed for Raymond has been kept unarmed.”
Regarding Raymond’s meeting with the consulate staff that was granted access, the official said the visiting diplomats told their arrested colleague he would be provided lawyer for trial in case plea for immunity is not accepted.
As the battle for immunity entered the Lahore High Court, the investigators have questioned the real identity of Raymond Davis. The diplomatic passport Raymond provided to the investigators says he is in Pakistan for official purpose but there is no further description whether or not he is diplomat.
The situation became more intriguing as the American could not produce any certificate generally granted to diplomats upon arrival in Pakistan, said the official source.
According to the Diplomatic and Counsellors Act of 1972, they say, a certificate has to be requested from the Foreign Office recognising all officials on a diplomatic assignment. But no certificate has been issued to date to Raymond. While the Foreign Office is still thinking, the US embassy’s spokesperson, Courtney Beale, disagreed with this impression. She said the embassy sends a note to the Foreign Office upon the arrival of a fresh US diplomat to Pakistan.
When asked about the certification, she said it is not required until demanded anywhere. She said the Foreign Office of Pakistan would certify Raymond as the US diplomat only if the question arises about his immunity before the court.