Soon after Pakistan appeared on the world map as a sovereign country, it was placed in the United States sphere of influence. From signing of the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the United States in 1954 to Musharraf’s blind subservience to USA, the incompetent Pakistani rulers have effectively turned Pakistan and US relation into the relationship between the vassal and suzerain state; with Pakistani rulers’ abject submissiveness, Pakistan’s sovereignty has been very much reduced to flag waving and singing the national anthem.
General Musharraf during ten years of his rule pushed Pakistan to a new low in subservience to U.S.A. In his constant bid to prove his unwavering loyalty, Musharraf, in his docile act of obedience, sold Pakistani and foreign citizens to the U.S. for a bounty of $5,000 to 5 million per head. These people were kidnapped and hunted in flagrant contravention of Pakistani and international laws, handed over to the U.S. without any charge, concrete evidence and due judicial process, and then they were thrown in the torture pit of Guantanamo Bay. Musharraf, without feeling a single iota of guilt, says in his memoir, “We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totaling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse us of ‘not doing enough’ in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to the government of Pakistan. Here, I will tell the stories of just a few of the most significant man-hunts…” This is perhaps the first in the civilized history that a head of state abducted and sold his own people for prize money and be proud of it and unabashedly mention in his memoirs.
Among the many ills that Musharraf inflicted on Pakistan, he allowed the personnel of the U.S. intelligence agencies and mercenaries from American private military companies (Blackwater, Halliburton, DynCorp, etc) to operate all over Pakistan in search of Al Qaeda leaders. Today, it is well known, that hundreds of U.S. armed operatives freely roam on the streets of Pakistani cities. Whether as mistake or unintentional utterance, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in an interview admitted Blackwater’s presence in Pakistan. Not only the Musharraf regime allowed American mercenaries presence in the country but also waived the visa requirement for them; they come and go as they please, without the visa or travelling document. Often, they are escorted off the plane into a waiting car on the tarmac.
Pakistan’s newspaper Nawa-e Waqt in its editorial writes, “The Blackwater operatives, who committed heinous and inhuman crimes in Iraq, come wherever they please in Pakistan without visa or travel document. They keep on roaming around in vehicles with fake number plates with dangerous weapons. These U.S. officials point guns at the security people if asked to reveal their identity. During a few minutes debate, there is a series of phone calls from the high officials, and they, who consider Pakistan as their playground, are allowed to go with honor (How Much Dignity is Left?”, Nawa-e Waqt, January 18, 2010, translated from Urdu). It is also claimed by many and cannot be dismissed easily that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was abducted independently by Americans mercenaries from Karachi and then transferred to Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s government, Musharraf’s and the present PPP regime, has turned a blind eye and keeps mum to U.S. mercenaries violating the country’s sovereignty and assassinating its citizen. However, the recent murder of two Pakistanis by a U.S. “diplomat” Raymond Davis on a busy street of Lahore in full view of public forced the Pakistani government to arrest the American suspect. After the shooting and killing Davis called the consulate for help, a Land Cruiser, came to the scene. The driver of the Land Cruiser went the wrong way down a one-way street and ran over a man on a motorcycle, killing a third person. The driver of the get-away vehicle and four passengers who came to rescue Davis fled the scene and are still at large. Despite repeated requests the U.S. Consulate is not revealing any information about the driver who killed a motorcyclist. The murder incident and the aborted attempt to rescue and help flee the suspect has, once again, brought to forefront the presence and criminal activities of secretly fielded American mercenaries in Pakistan.
The U.S. authorities claim that the name of the man arrested for the double murder is not Raymond Davis. The U. S State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, “We have not released the identity of our employee at this point”; however, he denied the man’s name is Raymond Davis. The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan says that the man in Pakistan’s custody is a diplomat with a valid U.S. diplomat passport and visa. But the copies of passport and visa of Davis obtained by Dawn News show that his name is Raymond Alan Davis, his passport is not of a diplomat and he was not on diplomatic visa but he came to Pakistan on a business visa. The U.S. first claimed that Davis is a “Technical Adviser” and “Counselor”. Later his designation is changed to “functionary” of the U.S. Consulate. However, ABC News says, Davis is an employee of Hyperion Protective Consultants LLC, a private security company based in Orlando, Florida.
Davis’ claim that he killed the two men in self-defense is spoiled when one considers that all the bullet wounds were found in the back of the dead bodies. Also, no shot was fired from the guns recovered on the bodies of the dead Pakistanis. His other claim that he is immune from arrest and prosecution by the virtue of his diplomatic status is also proven empty, as neither his passport nor the visa is diplomatic. If indeed Davis is a diplomat and enjoys diplomatic immune, the U.S., on ethical ground, should wave off the immunity and let the judicial process takes its course. It will only raise U.S. prestige. If Davis truly acted in self-defense, he will be acquitted.
The Washington Post in its report of January 27 puts a new twist to the already complicated storyline, and even adds a dose of suspense. Here what the Post says, “A senior former U.S. diplomatic security agent suggested Thursday that the American involved in a fatal shootout in Lahore, Pakistan, was the victim of a spy meeting gone awry, not the target of a robbery or car-jacking attempt.” Post quoted Fred Burton, a former deputy chief of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service’s counter-terrorism division who worked on several major terrorism cases in the 1980s and 1990s, as saying: "It looks like an informant meet gone bad more than a car-jacking attempt,”
If we consider what a diplomat fluent in Urdu with automatic weapons and large sum of money in a rented car was doing in the part of town that has been scene of terror bombing, Burton’s theory of “an informant meet gone bad” appears highly credible. Diplomats do not travel in a locally rented car and go cruising with large sum of money and automatic weapon in the not so desirable part of the town. It is very plausible that Davis was on a mission and the mission went awry. Pakistanis strongly suspects U.S. hands in the terror bombings in their country.
At the end of the day, the U.S. will get its way; Pakistan’s servile administration under the U.S. pressure will let Davis go free. There will be some clamor in the press and anti U.S. demonstration on streets but all will be forgotten and forgiven soon. The other likely scenario: to appease the Pakistani public, the U.S. may release Dr. Aafia Siddique; a Pakistani neuroscientist who the U.S. says has ties to Al Qaeda members, sentenced in the U.S. to 86 years in prison for attempted murder, in exchange for the release of Raymond Davis. It is highly unlikely, rather unimaginable, that the trial will go to its end, and if Davis found guilty that he will serve the full sentence in a Pakistani jail. The U.S.A is not Pakistan, and Raymond Davis is not Pakistani Aafia Siddique, who was sold and forgotten and abandoned by her Pakistani rulers.
If Raymond Davis goes free, after murdering two Pakistanis in the broad daylight, without the judicial process, it would be yet another abject surrender by the Pakistani government to the will of the U.S.A.