Clinton pressurised me to grant diplomatic immunity to Davis: Qureshi

Sunday, February 13, 2011

LAHORE - Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had pressurised him to sign a summary giving diplomatic immunity to double-murder accused American official Raymond Davis, but he refused to oblige.

Talking to officials during his farewell visit to the Foreign Ministry, Qureshi said Clinton had telephoned and exerted pressure on him to confirm Davis’ diplomatic immunity, Dunya News reports.

The ex-minister also said that US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter also telephoned him from Washington and warned that Clinton would not have a meeting with Qureshi in Munich if Davis’ diplomatic immunity were not confirmed.

It is noteworthy that earlier this month, the US had denied reports that it had put all bilateral contacts with Pakistan on hold until Islamabad releases Davis.

“We continue contact with Pakistan to express the importance of resolving the case of a U.S. diplomat in accordance with international law,” US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Crowley’s tweet came hours after media reports that Clinton had cancelled a meeting with the then Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi at an international security conference in Munich to protest the arrested US diplomat’s detention.

Despite the US insisting that Pakistan should free Davis as he is entitled to “full immunity from criminal prosecution by Pakistan” under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, he was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days on Friday, with the next hearing due on February 25. (ANI)

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