Raymond Davis memoir, Another effort by ex CIA agent to defame Pakistan Army

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Raymond Davis, an ex-CIA spy and US citizen in Pakistan, has wrote a memoir of his experiences in the country with special reference to his arrest and US-Pak diplomatic tensions that arose afterwards with his release. Till the very end, Davis has maintained his stance in the book saying, “I don’t regret shooting those two men in Lahore. I believe it was an appropriate response to a life-threatening situation. But I do regret the turmoil it created.”

In 2011, Davis had reportedly gunned down two young men at Lahore’s Qurtaba Chowk. In his book named “The Contractor: How I Landed in a Pakistani Prison and Ignited a Diplomatic Crisis”, he talks about this 2011 Lahore incident, the imprisonment, diplomats from both sides on the bargaining table trying to get him out, and the foreign affairs crisis between the United States and Pakistan that followed.

While explaining the whole matter, Davis reaffirmed that the two young boys Faizan and Faheem wanted to rob him and he killed them in self defence. He was then chased by traffic wardens who arrested him before imprisonment.

While diplomats from the United States put pressure referring to his diplomatic immunity, Pakistani officials including then Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi opined the CIA spy didn’t enjoy such rights. Islamabad and Washington were on the verge of a tense battle. The main argument against US was Davis is an intelligence operative working freely in Pakistan and his crime should be dealt with in accordance with the crime laws of the country. His trial was carried out under Islamic Shariah Law.

However, Davis was pardoned in exchange for blood money. He had neither qualified for immunity nor his team had any diplomatic option left for the acquittal, rather a simple deal with the relatives of those two young boys resulted in his release. He was flown outside Pakistan immediately after the heirs told the court they had accepted monetary compensation to settle the case.

"Pasha was clearly committed to making sure that the deal was successful ... In a meeting of top Pakistani officials, both President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani tried to convince Qureshi to change his hardline stance, but Qureshi let it be known in a press conference the following day that he wasn’t going to budge," he claimed in his book. Davis credits then ISI chief General (retd) Ahmed Shuja Pasha, President Asif Zardari, PM Yousaf Raza Gilani and Pakistan s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani, Nawaz Sharif, John Kerry, attorney Peter Strasserand and others for his defending his case.  

He writes, "In the end, no one individual should receive the credit for devising the plan. It was clearly a group effort."

Having said that, Davis pointed out the law of blood money or  diyat  as the cause of his release which was explained to him by Carmela Conroy, the US consul general in Lahore. He writes, "Carmela must have seen the fear in my eyes because she hurriedly continued. “There’s also diyat, also known as ‘blood money.’ In this case compensation gets paid to the victim or the victim’s heirs, and the accused goes free. That’s what’s going to happen here. The victims’ families are going to receive a sum of money, then you’ll be getting released.” She paused as if to emphasize what she was about to say next.  Ray, you’re getting out of here! ."

The relations between both countries hit a new low when American forces carried out a raid on the compound in Abbottabad that left Osama bin Laden dead, several weeks after Davis  arrival in  the US. In the concluding chapter, he said, "The onus was (now) on them (Pakistan) to explain how the world’s most-wanted terrorist had been living within their borders for six years without anyone knowing about it."

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