Wahab’s stand on ‘illegal detention’ of Davis not Pak Govt or PPP’s views: Babar

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s spokesman has dismissed a statement given by a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) spokeswoman about double-murder accused US official Raymond Davis, saying that it was her personal view.

In an attempt to dilute the anger over a US official accused of murdering two Pakistanis, PPP Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab had said that Davis had a diplomatic visa, and that he could neither be arrested nor kept in custody under the Vienna Convention.

“He (Davis) is a technical member of the US embassy’s diplomatic staff and according to Pakistani laws, any diplomat and technical or administrative staff cannot be arrested or taken into custody,” she was quoted, as telling reporters at the Karachi Press Club on Monday.

The Pakistan Presidency said that Wahab made these statements in her personal capacity and not on behalf of the party.

“This is neither the policy of the party nor the government,” the Dawn quoted Zardari’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar, as saying.

Both the government and the party had “made it very clear that Raymond Davis’ case is before court and the court will decide the issue,” Babar added.

36-year-old Davis was arrested after allegedly shooting dead two men on the streets of Lahore, who the US State Department said were trying to rob him. A third Pakistani man was struck and killed by a vehicle that was reportedly racing to Davis’ aid.

The US maintains that as a member of the Administrative and Technical staff at the US Embassy in Islamabad, Davis is entitled to “full immunity from criminal prosecution by Pakistan under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961. All countries… freely agreed to abide by these rules. Under the rules, he should be freed immediately.” (ANI)

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