US threatens to cut off all aid to Pakistan over Raymond Davis issue

By Akhtar Jamal

Islamabad – The United States is exerting extensive pressure on Pakistan and has threatened to cut off all military and economic aid to Islamabad if the American national Raymond Allen Davis who has killed two Pakistanis is not released soon.

According to reports it has now been confirmed that Raymond Davis was engaged in “sensitive activities” not only in Lahore but also in Islamabad and Peshawar was working as a “contractor” for U.S. Department of Defence and CIA.

The American threat to Pakistan came simultaneously from American State Department, Defence Department, an American powerful delegation and American Embassy in Islamabad. Unconfirmed reports say that the U.S. had restricted “diplomatic contacts” as a first stage and threatened to widen its reaction.

Early last week an American congressional delegation called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani at PM House.

The powerful American delegation had suggested that “Raymond Davis be released before the damage is done.”

The American team also made its message loud and clear to all the top policy-makers including Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Finance Minister, Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Ch. Abdul Ghafoor, Chairman National Commission for Government Reforms, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, MOS for EAD/Finance, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani and Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir.

The issues discussed ranged from Pak-US bilateral relations to mutual cooperation, fight against militancy, ROZs and security situation as well as other related issues.

Contrary to investigating officials’ deliberations and conclusion the American officials insist that Raymond Davis “had acted in self-defense.” Although officials agree that he may have taken a “pre-emptive move” fearing his detection and chase by the two men he killed.

Officials here say that since the case is in the court it would be highly unpopular for the Federal or Provincial government to intervene and release the American and risk public backlash. But officials also claim that if he is not released Pakistan’s economy already under severe pressure may not be able to withstand American pressures.

Many Pakistanis believe that the incident is the result of “a free-hand given to selected foreigners by certain Pakistan officials and diplomats” but it is too late to reverse the damage done to the country. Officials say that Pakistan has limited choice now.


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